God powerfully designs local churches to care for missionaries.
Missionary care, sometimes known as member care, is “the ongoing preparation, equipping and empowering of missionaries for effective and sustainable life, ministry and work.” – The Global Member Care Network
Numerous examples in Scripture show us that missionaries were not lone rangers, but team players, closely connected to the churches who sent them. How did that look, and how could it look in your church today?
Missionary care involves more than one might expect:
- Preparing well – Jesus gave encouragement and instruction to the 72 being sent out in Luke 10.
- Remaining connected – The church sent gifts with a dear friend to Paul in Philippians 4:16-18.
- Receiving well – The Antioch church listened, engaged and honored their missionaries in Acts 14:26-28.
All missionary care flows from the foundation of being sent well. And Scripture shows the essential nature of sending in Romans 10:14-15.
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are SENT?
Being sent well is critical to effective ministry on the field. And sending missionaries begins in the local church. Churches create a culture of partnership that sends people into the world to make global disciples. Taking new spiritual ground in cross-cultural ministry isn’t easy. In order to be effective and sustained through their assignments, a missionary needs ongoing care. This care must encompass the entire time on the field, including the missionary’s return to their home country. Read through the book of Philippians, a letter from Paul, the first missionary, to his partnering church. Take note of how you see the church partnering well and consistently with Paul.
Along with this scriptural foundation, technology makes possible unprecedented opportunities for today’s church to pour into the lives of those they send. Resources such as Skype, Viber and FaceTime allow churches to stay connected in real time to their missionaries.
Missionary care involves everyone. From toddlers to the retired, from welders to farmers, counselors and medical personnel and financial advisors. Together, the church is exquisitely resourced to send and sustain missionaries. And senders and goers are equal partners in the Great Commission.
How can you take the next step toward sending well?
Pray. Radical prayer for missionaries contributes to radical missionary effectiveness. So gather others to pray!
Plan. Plan to attend the Equipping Local Churches in Missionary Care workshop track at ICOM 2017, hosted by Missionary Care Catalysts.
Discover. Take steps to engage in this exciting journey. Check out the recommended resources below.
You can do this!
Missionary Care Catalysts is a team who is partnering with God to advance a movement of churches committed to excellence in missionary care.
If you have questions about missionary care, or would like to find out more about joining the movement, please contact an MCC representative at MissionaryCareCatalysts@cccgo.com or join us on social media at facebook.com/missionarycarecatalysts
Serving as Senders Today
by Neal Pirolo
The Sending Church Defined
by Zach Bradley
Mind The Gaps: Engaging The Church In Missionary Care
by Dave Wilson
by Steve Beirn
by Neal Pirolo
by Greg Pruett
Ministry of encouragement to missionaries, MKs, and national pastors
Emmaus Road International is a “come alongside” ministry offering resources for third millennium missions.
Ideas of ways to pray for missionaries
Missions and mental health resources by Ron and Bonnie Koteskey
Missions Resource Network (MRN) exists to help disciples make disciples worldwide.
TRAIN International equips individuals and teams preparing to live and work cross-culturally and coaches churches to send and sustain.