When we start out on the mission field and begin the process of raising our support, the one thing we need to do and be faithful with is building our contact list. When I first started out 20 years ago, I began with a contact list, but I did not realize how important it was. Throughout the years, I have discovered how vital it is. In most cases, it is the foundation God gives to you on which you build your mission.
Building a healthy contact list is more than a list of people who could give you money. It is a list of different types of relationships in which you are in. This is your circle of influence. Having a contact list will help you be faithful in your relationships and your communication with individuals. These are people who could be intercessors, supporters, and people who care about you.
If you haven’t already, please read my article, “How Many Supporters should a Missionary Have?” It will communicate the value of those relationships you have.
Before you start, I want to make one thing clear. The bigger your contact list is, the better. I have talked to so many missionaries who are struggling with their finances. When I ask them the question, “What do you think is a good number of people have on your contact list?” I have had people say that 10 or 25 people are really good. But, honestly, those numbers are way too low.
When starting out, I tell people to target at least 200 people and then build from there. Of course, if you come up with more than 200 people, that is even better. I know for some of you, it may seem overwhelming. Well, it is not as hard as it looks. Here are some steps to build your contact list.
Also, know that different people prefer to communicate in different ways. Some reply quickly to text. Others may respond better to email. And others like to get phone calls. The more ways to communicate to your contact list, the more effective your communication will become.
I know some of you may be thinking this is a lot of work. I want to say yes, it is. Depending on your situation, this will take you about 30 to 40 hours of work. But if you are looking at financing your future in missions, it is a minimal price to pay.
Now that you have a list, what do you do?