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. We want to empower you to share this vision so that many more people will find their play to play as Gospel Patrons.
2. 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: Give Page
3. How do I get started as a patron?
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 ministry leader is not well known to you, it seems wise to start with a 2-3 year trial period. If your relationship flourishes and the ministry shows promising fruit, you can move to a greater commitment. 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.
4. Do Gospel Patrons support their local church?
We advise Gospel Patrons to start with supporting the ministry of their local church and then partner with leaders and organizations that are doing great work to equip the church and proclaim the gospel. 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?
Giving a regular offering to your church is "normal" Christian giving. We believe in and practice this. It's 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.
Gospel Patrons are more personally involved and financially invested in coming alongside the leadership of a church or ministry that proclaims the gospel. In Romans 16:1-2, Paul referred to Phoebe as a "patron" of his ministry and that of many others. Mary, Joanna, and Susannah were Jesus' Gospel Patrons, supporting him and his disciples as they traveled and preached. (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. In each of these, Jesus was challenging the motivation of the hypocrites who did these things "that they may be seen by others." (Matthew 6:5) None of us question if praying in public or with others is unbiblical because we understand that Jesus was not making an absolute command for every circumstance, but a warning against the motivation of the hypocrites. 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)
According to Jesus, secrecy is not the answer in every situation. Earlier in the same sermon, 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 a living, breathing relationship with him.
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.