For some, God directs them to fulfill their a call to urban ministry in Maryvale through self funding.

Caleb Center can help guide the process of developing a support team.


Raising  Support

We can help a UM develop a self-supporting ministry base of “Family, Friends, and Fans” who are committed to pray and financially support the UM. Part of the test for God’s guiding into UM status is God’s provision of job or support base. For help to set up your Self-Funded Support, see contact list.

For those who raise support, they need to communicate with their supporters. Caleb Center helps UMs to learn to be professional and yet personal to communicate on social media to keep the supporters informed and engaged in prayer. UMs need to proficiently talk about their ministry, service and outreach to the people and about how they are actually making an impact for Christ.



In many church circles, fundraising for missions has become about as common as taking the Eucharist. It generates a steady stream of support letters and spaghetti fundraisers. It has become such a fixture that, more often than not, missions leaders consider it a faith-building rite of passage.

But there is another way – some participants choose to foot all or most of their own bill. They may work overtime, or live frugally during a summer job and stash their earnings away for their mission. Some still raise a small amount of support to cover any shortfall in their savings, but others are able to completely — and consistently — self-finance their own service.

Self-funding is hardly a new idea. But wondering what leads some people to do it, here is a sampling of short-term missionaries who chose to at least partially fund their own trips. None of them were wealthy enough to cover their trips out of their existing funds — all had to work and save. Their motivations for doing it were varied, some purely practical, others more principled.

Self-Funding as a Spiritual Discipline

For Eliza*, it’s not that self-funding was more noble than raising support. She sensed God leading her to do it. “I felt like he was specifically saying, ‘You could ask for support, but that’s not the way I’m going to be sufficient this time,’” she said. “He was saying, ‘You have to put your heart into working for it…Honestly, me paying for it was more of a step of faith than asking for money,” she said.

John* has made lifestyle choices a part of his decision to self-fund missions. A graduate student on the West Coast, he works seasonally as a firefighter to cover the cost of regular trips to serve in a creative-access region. He’s not getting rich, but he makes it work by living simply. It has helped him keep his priorities in focus.

Discerning whether or not self-funding is for you should begin with prayer. In some cases, God may strongly lead you to forgo fundraising and try to save up for a trip yourself. Some jobs lend themselves to self-funded missions. Teachers and anyone working on an academic calendar, for example, can use their summers both to earn a little extra income and take a short-term trip. Individuals with skills that lend themselves to freelancing or contract work can also earn extra income on the side to put toward a mission trip.

To self-fund your mission, work to build relationship with churches and a support network. Having that kind of community is essential to having an effective ministry. Also, God can and often will provide work or extra income to fund a trip which can be just as valid and formative as raising support.

Self-funding is a sacrifice for ministry — the same type of sacrifice that faithful missions supporters make all the time


*Last names omitted to protect identities.