Asking for help is hard. As a white, American male, asking for help is damn near impossible. Whether it’s programmed in my DNA or a learned behavior, there is a stream of rugged individualism that runs deep in my spirit. I love the idea of community, of having a group of friends and family I can rely on when I need help, but what I’m really hoping for is to never really need help. I can do it myself, I can handle it on my own, I can fix whatever the problem is—the answer is just a Google search away, a five-minute YouTube tutorial and I’m good to go.
If there is one thing I shy away from more than asking for help it’s talking about money. I’ve been getting paid to lead worship for two decades, and I still never know how to ask for what I believe is an appropriate honorarium for my services. Much to the chagrin of some of my friends and family, who feel I’m worth far more than I believe I’m worth, I’ve been happy to simply take what I’m offered. After all, if I’m doing “the Lord’s work,” I want to make sure I’m helping those I serve be good stewards of their budget and the resources they’ve been entrusted with.
But if I’m honest, that’s just a smoke screen, an excuse to keep myself from having to have uncomfortable conversations about money. It also keeps me from having to give myself any more credit than I think I deserve—if I throw out a number that’s too high, what will “they” think of me? Aim too high and I’m egotistical, aim too low (and for too long), and I won’t be able to help feed my family or pay my mortgage. So, the default has become to just not talk about it and let the chips fall where they may.
So, when Paul and I first started talking about the possibility of me joining Torn Curtain, it became clear that I would be dragged kicking and screaming out of my comfort zone in order to raise personal financial support. I would have to not only ask for help, but I would be asking for help by way of asking for money. I was even going to have to ask for help to learn how to ask for money. It was one thing to step out in faith by leaving my full-time job at a fast-growing church. It’s another thing entirely to trust God in two areas that have been remarkably difficult to deal with my whole life.
Humbled by the opportunity and encouraged by several friends who have done this before, I put together a support letter (which some of you have received). And what I found as I wrote it is how passionate I am about the things that we’re going to be doing, the mission we’re trying to accomplish of reaching out to the spiritually homeless, creating and engaging in authentic Spiritual practices, and encouraging the Church to become places of refuge again. Slowly, it began to dawn on me—ultimately, I’m not trying to get you to support me. I want you to be just as passionate about the vision of TCA as Paul and I are. I don’t just need you to help me buy groceries and pay my mortgage. I’m asking you to help me create content that will open eyes and change minds. I’m asking you to join me in something that is bigger than me, or Paul, or Torn Curtain Arts. We’re asking you to partner with us as we run after a God-given vision.
And so, the fear of asking for help, for prayer, for partnership, for money, is slowly melting away. Each conversation gets a little bit easier, each “ask” becomes a little more clear, each opportunity to talk about TCA and the work we’ll be doing becomes a little more exciting and infectious. So, I ask without hesitation: If you’re not already, we would love for you to partner with us and support us financially because we believe that what we’re doing is important, God-honoring work. You can give right here on our website—www.torncurtainarts.org/donate. We would love to do this with you.