Prayer letters (ie. supporter letters/newsletters) are important for keeping your ministry partners updated on your volunteer ministry with WA. This section will help you write effective letters.
WA places few restrictions on how you do your prayer letters. What your letter will look like depends mainly on your budget and your creativity. Answers to Frequently Asked Questions are listed below.
How Often Should I Write a Letter?
- Most churches and individuals expect to hear from you at least four times per year.
- Should I send my letter by email or snailmail?
- The best answer is "Both." Not everyone has email-especially older people who are often the most faithful at praying for you.
- Sending your letter by email to as many people as possible will speed the delivery, and will also save you time, postage, and printing costs (if you do this, send PDF letters rather than Word or another proprietary format that some cannot open).
- Consider sending monthly email updates to your supporters and serious prayer partners, and formatted prayer letters to your entire contact list less often (quarterly?).
What Should I include in My Letter?
- Stories (people love them and respond to them).
- Good photos (see next FAQ).
- Personal contact information.
- WA contact information and ministry account info.
- A few key prayer requests (after all, it is a prayer letter).
Here is some sample prayer letter content for you to review and consider.
What Kind of Images Should I Use in the Letter?
- Wycliffe Associates logo (see Logos section in Tools & Resources).
- Closeup images of people.
- Colorful, interesting images.
- Images that cause people to think about what it happening in the photo.
- If you need a great image that you don’t have, consider purchasing a stock photo.
Are There Ministries That Will Print and Mail My Letters for Me?
- Helps International Ministries (HIM) will maintain a mailing list, publish and mail letters. Web site: http://www.helpsinternationalministries.org/ Click on Prayer Letter Ministry. They are located in Asheville, NC. Ph#828-277-3812.
- Chalk Line – will print and mail your prayer letters for a reasonable price. They also have some good tips for creating a prayer letter. They are located in San Marcos Texas. Besides exploring their web site (http://www.chalkline.org/), you can contact them by phone 1-800-463-6382 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember to Say “Thank You”
It should “go without saying,” but sometimes it is helpful to be reminded. We are not only accountable to the IRS and WA for our ministry finances, but to our supporters as well. Don’t forget to thank them for their generosity. Gratefulness is important in building relationships. Here are a few tips for saying “thank you:”
- Send a handwritten note—this goes a long way in the age of electronic communication
- Buy and send a nice thank you card
- Send a WA card—see the list of available cards
- Send a free e-card from sites such as Dayspring or Blue Mountain (to name a few)
Sample Prayer Letters
(Click on each image to see full-size version)