Dear Pastors and Mission Leaders,

Greetings in Christ.  Missionary care is a needed topic for discussion.  At a mission leaders conference in January this was one topic that we discussed and where we came up with the below ideas.  Earlier this month at the North Central District Conference we had an affinity group where we shared these ideas for missionary care.  Read through this list and see how you are doing as a mission team and as a church.

Tangible ways to care for your missionaries:

  • Respond to missionary prayer letters. This is one area that I am guilty of not responding to. It is easy to read the letters, but hard for people to take time to respond. 
  • Ask small groups to sponsor a missionary long-term.
  • Have missionary care teams with 3-5 missionaries in a group. Send prayer requests back to your missionary.
  • Send updates from your church and send church mission letters to your missionary.
  • Send packages to missionaries and to their kids. (i.e. gluten free food). Some suggested that Amazon is a good way to send packages.
  • Give personal gifts to the missionary family. One larger church suggested giving $250 and not just at Christmas.
  • Go visit missionaries on the field. See the context of their work and go to encourage them.
  • Get missionaries online via zoom. Talk with them and pray for them.
  • Highlight missionaries in your church on Sunday morning.  Help the congregation to know the missionary. Get their letters out and communicate how they are doing.

What not to do:

  • Be careful with security in closed countries.
  • Do not post anything that will hurt their ministry.
  • Be careful what you post on Facebook.
  • Don’t ask too much from missionaries-related to their support.
  • Don’t make annual missionary questionnaires complex.
  • Don’t give them false hopes if you cannot deliver what they stated they needed.
  • Forget to contact the missionary if there are changes or if you are stopping their support.
  • Forget to give a visiting missionary mileage or the cost to visit or an honorarium if they preach.
  • Forget to include high school youth – they are the next generation of supporters.
  • Don’t ask them how many came to Christ.

Blessings,

Steve Austvold