The Staff Catalyst Fund aims to support under-resourced staff like Annabel Levya, who are called to minister in the communities they are from
Building fundraising and prayer networks begins, for many staff, in their immediate circles. But for leaders from under-resourced communities, building support can be an uphill battle.
“My friends, family, and church all come from this neighborhood,” Annabel said. Annabel Levya is Servant Partners staff in San José, California, and lives and serves in the same neighborhood that she grew up in. “Some of them are barely making it by themselves, and make great sacrifices to give to me. Others tell me I should quit and find a more stable job. The challenge of finding supporters discourages me from approaching people from my community—especially if they have less resources and opportunities than I do.”
These challenges are common for neighborhood “remainers” and “returners” looking to minister in their community. Yet as a movement, Servant Partners has always aspired to partner with and develop local leaders pursuing transformation in urban poor communities.
“We are from the community, speak the language, understand the culture, and know how to connect with others,” Annabel said. “For Servant Partners to believe in and commission local leaders like me—a Latina woman—is huge.”
Andy Singleterry, the site-leader in San José, agreed, saying, “Having a recognizable face on the team shows neighbors that they too can join the movement.”
To accommodate the unique challenges faced by under-resourced staff, the team in San José fundraises into a common fund that pays each staff member’s budgets and salaries. Still, Annabel’s fundraising challenges persisted; she felt as though she wasn’t contributing enough.
“I’m constantly asking myself: should I stay here, or should I leave?” she reflected.
The Staff Catalyst Fund met Annabel at this crucial juncture. With the fund’s support, she had room to breathe and continue in ministry. “Most importantly, the fund helped Annabel feel less guilty about her fundraising and relieved some of the financial burden,” Andy said.
Servant Partners hopes to add many local leaders like Annabel to their ministries in the next few years. But without access to more affluent circles or pathways to overcome socioeconomic barriers, indigenous leaders will struggle to build networks of support that can sustain their ministry.
The Staff Catalyst Fund addresses these challenges by empowering local leaders and under-resourced staff toward long-term effectiveness in urban ministry. This fund will help them build fundraising and prayer networks, create access to spiritual and emotional support, and invest in helping local leaders join our ministries around the world.