HOW TO WRITE IT:
Start the letter off with normal people stuff. Hi. How are you? It’s been a while. I’m writing to tell you about what God has been doing in my life recently. Then share the vision. Share about the community and what you think God’s calling you to do there.
You can opt to share needs if you want, but don’t beg. Tell a story. Simply share your vision in a natural, non-sell manner. Ask for prayer–giving specific needs rather than general ones (re: “for people to be saved”).
Ultimately, this isn’t an asking letter. It’s a telling letter. You’re not asking for their money. You’re asking for their ear. Your goal in this letter is to schedule another meeting. Therefore you’re to make this letter the most exciting thing in the universe. Pray over it. Pour over it. Read it, re-read it. Edit the crap out of it. Bounce it off of others. Put cool pictures on it. Make it attractive.
You aren’t looking for beneficiaries, you are looking for gospel partners. That’s a much more involved and less degrading role for people to play. Also, if they’re your friends, don’t treat them like organic ATMs. Treat them like friends. Never pitch your friends. Simply talk to them as you always have. They are your friend for a reason, and will take little convincing about why you do what you do and how important it is.
THE FOLLOW UP:
Make two separate lists; one for people who live near to you, and one for people far away. For now, don’t worry about those that are nearby, just start contacting the people who live far away. Phone conversation is best, because after all, you know them and it’s more personal, and allows for more clarification.
You’ll begin by asking if they received your letter. If they say yes, pause and allow them to talk. If they say no, then just run through the content with them. Afterwards, ask them what they think about what you’ve said. It’s always good to get some feedback. Further, don’t be surprised if people don’t understand what you’re saying, or the idea to church plant sounds strange to them. Before you end the conversation, you want to ask them if they’d be willing to support you by praying for you. To that end, you should ask them if they’d mind receiving a (monthly, bi-monthly, or semi-annual) support letter that will update them of everything that you are doing. To this end, Paul included in almost every letter that he wrote a detailed account of his plans, where he’d been, and where he was going. He also closed every letter by saying, “Pray for me brothers.”
Buy Peyton’s newest book “Reaching The Unreached: Becoming Raiders of the Lost Art” over on Amazon.com. You can also download a free chapter and watch a cool trailer for the book HERE or click the image below.