If you’ve ever tried to communicate with a financial partner the difference your ministry is making at the end of the year, then you have tried to think of something good to tell them. Oftentimes, coming up with the right information is significantly harder than it sounds.
Here are a few tips to prepare you for your next meeting or ministry report.
1 - Know Your Audience’s Passions
Your financial partners are people with passions and interests and desires all their own. Hopefully, they joined your funding team because you share similar passions to impact this world for the better. If you have spent even a little time developing this relationship, then you should have an idea what their passions are, and you should use this knowledge as you tell a story that will maintain their interest.
2 - Know Your Ministry
What kind of state is your ministry in currently? Perhaps you’re in the beginning phase of building relationships, or maybe you have begun to disciple new believers to daily live out their faith. Maybe you are even able to celebrate the phase of seeing those first disciples live out their faith and make disciples of their own. Knowing what phase of ministry you are in currently will give you clarity on what type of stories you should even be looking to tell.
3 - Focus On a Singular Impact
Even if there are a number of people that have been impacted, there are many studies and statistics which prove that focusing on telling a story of one person’s life change will allow another person to be more emotionally connected. As you begin to unfold this one person’s history, and story of life change, it allows someone hearing the story to identify with them personally. This allows your financial partner to remember the story and even possibly retell it to another.
4 - Ask Yourself Good Questions About Your Ministry
As you begin to think through your ministry and a story of impact which you may want to highlight, here a few questions to help you draw out a truly impactful story.
Look at each part of your ministry and ask yourself, and your ministry team, these questions:
Was there one particular person that was impacted or made a life-changing decision this week/month/year?
What is their background?
Where did they come from?
What would their life look like if they had not been exposed to your ministry or had not made this life change?
Why were they impacted?
What was the moment of experiencing that change?
What did they say in the moment?
What was their emotional response?
How were you able to be a part of making the change in that person’s life?
What does that have to do with the vision of your ministry?
What does that have to do with the person you’re telling the story to?
It is up to you to discover a story of impact in your own ministry and to relate that story in a way that can make an impact on your financial partners. You will likely be surprised by anyone's positive response to a story of impact because they have invested.
Don’t fall into the trap of exaggerating or over-telling facts that aren’t there. If there wasn’t a major life change since you last met with your financial partner, then tell that truth. Because, in reality, it only solidifies the need for you to continue in your current ministry field.
Jodie Coher, Communication Specialist
With a passion for discipleship, allowing my writing to be a small part of sending others to the mission field is a true joy. I also enjoy interacting on social media and spending time with my small family in Missouri.