By Nelson Musipa, Navigators Zambia
As a young Gospel worker, I faced fear every time I thought about calling someone to set an MPD (Ministry Partner Development) appointment. It was not only the phone call that scared me—merely thinking about the phone call scared me!
And I am not alone. As I coach gospel-workers in funding they tell me that memories of previous MPD attempts that did not go well come flashing to their mind. The thought of getting a “no” leaves them numb with fear.
Let’s look at the two R’s of fear in MPD—Fear of Reality and Fear of Rejection.
Fear of Reality—budgeting!
Recently I asked a Navigator Staff how the process of drawing a realistic budget was going. She said, “The [large] figure scares me.” In other words, she was saying the reality of what it will cost to do her ministry scares her. Hence the reason why many prefer to maintain a low budget.
Your budget might feel manageable, but is it too skimpy for you to be effective in ministry? Effective MPD starts with having a realistic budget. We must face the fear of reality concerning our budgets.
When Moses sent the twelve spies to check out the land of Canaan, they reported that going to the promised land was suicidal and therefore a non-starter because the land was occupied by giants.
“…The people that we saw in it are of great height. And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak who come from the Nephilim),
and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.”
— NUMBERS 13:30-33
The ten spies who accompanied Caleb and Joshua were filled with fear when faced with the reality of giants and huge cities to conquer. For Gospel workers, the reality of how much it’s going to cost to carry out their mission discourages them from even starting.
Fear of Rejection—phoning!
When God spoke to Moses through the burning bush about going back to Egypt to rescue his enslaved people, Moses hesitated. Why? Fear of rejection! Do you remember Moses’ first attempt to help his people? He killed an Egyptian who was mistreating a fellow Israelite. Even his own people criticized him.
“Who made you prince and a judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid, and thought, ‘Surely the thing is known’.”
— EXODUS 2:14
Moses fled because Pharaoh wanted him dead! Rejection brings a sense of failure and shame. And so, when God told Moses He wanted him to go back to Egypt, he did not think he was the right person for the job.
Moses’ new calling forced him to deal with his earlier rejection.
Finally, Moses overcame his fears and went back to Egypt. Then he faced rejection nine times as he asked Pharaoh for the people to be released from bondage. Over and over again he went back to Pharaoh until success came through.
Like Moses, when I listen to my fears, I become incapacitated. When I listen to God, I gain courage to forge ahead in spite of previous failures.
How about you?
Are you afraid today to write down a realistic budget?
Do you have Pharaohs in your list of people you’d like to invite for support?
It does not matter what fears you face in MPD. The antidote is God and his Word. Allowing God to speak to your fears brings victory and success. The “you” in Isaiah 41:10 is “YOU!”
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”
— ISAIAH 41:10
Nelson Musipa, Navigators Zambia
International Funding Coach and Director of TWAM (Teachers with a Mission)