1. Can you connect me to a patron?
We get asked this all the time but we do not make introductions to patrons we know. Our goal is to create books and online resources that you can share with the business leaders and professional people in your life so that many more people will find their play to play as Gospel Patrons.
2. How is Gospel Patrons funded?
Gospel Patrons is funded by the donations of men and women who are living out this message of Gospel Patrons today. For more details, see this webpage: Give Page. If you're in the UK and want to support the UK Chapter, click here.
3. How do I get started as a patron?
One place to start as a Gospel Patron is to partner with a church or ministry leader you already know, where the character of that person is well known. You could simply ask that person, "What is one thing that would help you succeed in your ministry?" Perhaps a need or a new dream will arise that you can help fulfill.
It seems wise to start with a trial period, perhaps 2-3 years. If your relationship flourishes and the ministry shows promise, you can move to a greater commitment. And if not, you can take a step back.
God has a unique way of highlighting the particular people and projects that are the good works he has set before us to do. (Ephesians 2:10) If we're available to God and obedient to the Holy Spirit's promptings, God will bring the right opportunities.
4. Do Gospel Patrons support their local church?
Yes! Gospel Patrons give to the ministry of their local church and they partner with leaders and organizations that are doing great work beyond the local church. We believe the local church is a fundamental building block of God's kingdom and parachurch organizations support and accelerate that work in all sorts of ways.
5. How is Gospel Patronage different than normal Christian giving?
Normal Christian giving is similar to what we read in Acts 4 when the believers laid their offerings before the apostles, trusting them to use the money to advance the ministry of the church. It is good and right to give regular offerings to your local church.
Gospel Patrons are more personally involved in coming alongside church and ministry leaders who are proclaiming the gospel. Paul referred to Phoebe as a "patron" of his ministry and that of many others (Romans 16:1-2). Jesus had Gospel Patrons, three women named Mary, Joanna, and Susannah, who supported him and his disciples. (Luke 8:1-3)
6. Is it better for patrons to support many things or focus on a few?
As we see from the examples in Scripture and history, a focus on a few core relationships where you can be a meaningful partner is a key element to being a Gospel Patron. The focus on a deep work with a relative few has proven powerful. If the resources are available, it is of course good to support other works or gospel-centered projects, but we believe in the adage, "Start small, dream big."
7. What about Jesus' command that our giving should be done in secret?
In Jesus' famous Sermon on the Mount he taught his disciples to give, pray, and fast in secret. But in the same sermon, Jesus also said, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Jesus was challenging the motivation of hypocrites who sought to "be seen by others." (Matthew 6:5) Jesus's teaching, "Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing" is to help us avoid giving in order to "be praised by others." (Matthew 6:2) And yet secrecy is not the answer for every situation. For a fuller explanation, consider the article below.
8. I want to ask patrons to support my ministry... any advice?
Asking a patron to give is an invitation to a great spiritual service, but it's important to invite without pressure, guilt, or expectation. The first thing every ministry leader needs is a trust in God as our ultimate provider. There are many promises in Scripture about this (Matthew 6:33; 2 Corinthians 9:10; Deuteronomy 8:18), but it can be a real struggle for us to trust God with money and believe he will provide, especially in times of financial need. But this is where we must start.
Second, ministry leaders must genuinely care about the patrons in their lives. Patrons need to be honored for who they are and not just for what they provide. We must learn to love people and invite them to join us in ways that are sensitive to the individual, their personality, and their circumstances.