1. How would patrons best identify those to support?
As we set off on the journey of Gospel Patronage, 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). One place to start is to partner with a church or ministry leader you already know, where the friendship is in place and the character of that person is well known.
Beyond that, if the person is not well known, it seems wise to start with a 2-3 year trial period, after which, if the relationship flourishes, one can move to a deeper and longer term engagement; and if it doesn’t there is no damage done in stepping back. In all of this, the most important thing is to commit everything to the Lord in prayer and then do the next right thing in love.
Below are three additional resources to help you make these decisions:
2. Does Gospel Patrons connect patrons to ministries?
We do not connect patrons with ministries or make introductions to patrons we know. Our mission is to inspire and empower a generation of Gospel Patrons. That means we are focused on creating resources that help patrons put God first in their lives and see the strategic role they can play in God’s kingdom. We hope you'll share our books and online resources with the patrons and potential patrons in your life, so that they might catch this vision and joyfully play their part.
3. What are your thoughts on Gospel Patrons supporting the local church versus parachurch organizations?
A Gospel Patronage framework can be very helpful in both the local church and in parachurch ministries. The local church is the fundamental building block of God advancing his kingdom and parachurch organizations support that work in all sorts of ways that the local church isn’t resourced to do (training, equipping, encouraging and sending out). We advise Gospel Patrons to start with supporting the ministry of their local church and then continue on beyond that to partner with parachurch organizations, which are doing great work to equip the church and proclaim the gospel.
Below are a few resources for further help:
4. Is there a difference between Gospel Patronage and "normal" Christian giving?
There are at least two models of giving we see in Scripture. In Acts 4 new believers sold their land and houses and laid the proceeds at the apostles’ feet for distribution. This is similar to what we do when we give regularly to our local church. We are trusting the leadership to use those gifts well to support the ministry of the church and to generously support mission partners.
The second model we see in Scripture is that of Gospel Patronage. Paul referred to Phoebe as a patron of his ministry and that of many others (Romans 16:1-2). Mary, Joanna and Susannah were three women who supported Jesus and his disciples in their itinerant ministry (Luke 8:1-3). Gospel Patrons are people who are personally involved and financially invested in supporting someone in gospel ministry.
Below are a few additional resources about Gospel Patronage:
5. How do we balance the need for examples of generosity with our giving being done in secret?
Right after Jesus' instruction to give in secret, he taught us to pray in secret. None of us question if praying with others is unbiblical because we understand that Jesus was challenging the motivation of the hypocrites who prayed "that they may be seen by others." (Matthew 6:5) The same applies to Jesus' instruction on giving. Jesus' teaching, "Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing" is not an absolute command for every circumstance, but a warning against the motivation of the hypocrites who gave "that they may be praised by others." (Matthew 6:2)
According to Jesus, secrecy is not the answer in every situation. Earlier in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus 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). Sometimes our good deeds should be done “before others" for God's glory. As always, Jesus invites us not to a formula, but to living, breathing relationship with him.
For a fuller answer to this question, see:
6. Is it better to support a variety of gospel projects or one person, ministry, or church?
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 word-centered projects, but we believe in the adage, "Start small, dream big."
7. How can ministry leaders best ask patrons to support their ministries?
The first thing ministry leaders need is a trust in God as their 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 to believe God will provide, especially in times of financial need. But this is where we must start.
Second, ministry leaders must genuinely care for patrons. Patrons are people, like all of us, who need to be honored for who they are and not just for what they provide. Asking a patron to give is an invitation to a great spiritual service, but it's important to be done without pressure, guilt, or expectation. We must learn to trust God, love people, and invite them to join us in ways that are sensitive to the individual, their personality, and their circumstances.
Below are three resources to further this conversation:
8. How is Gospel Patrons funded?
Gospel Patrons is a registered non-profit corporation, funded by the donations of men and women who are living out this message of Gospel Patrons today. For more details, see this webpage: