Most of us have had numerous “asks” in recent months with several folks from our church heading for the mission field in one direction or another. Truthfully, there are more to come. We’ve got “asks” from new candidates for the mission field as well as already deployed servants whose support has deteriorated with the economy. The demand has the potential to strain relationships in our midst in one way or another.
Here’s what we all can do when an “ask” comes our way to keep the process redemptive as opposed to divisive:
- Welcome the request as a possible opportunity to invest in the kingdom for eternal reward. Treat the occasion as a chance to revisit your stewardship of wealth and evaluate whether or not your priorities are in order.
- Take the matter to the Lord in prayer and see what He tells you to do.
- Whatever He says, as best you can determine, do the missionaries the courtesy of replying with your answer so they can know what you can or can’t do. Please don’t let the awkward nature of having to decline graciously, if that is the case, keep you from timely communication. They would rather know that you cannot participate than for things to remain unclear.
- Remain open to different responses to different requests depending upon changes in your circumstances and how the Lord might lead in unique circumstances. Evaluate each situation independently as God directs.
We are a relatively small church. The requests have mounted on our limited resources. Everyone understands that, especially people within our flock trying to raise support. However, the only way they are going to know if God is raising them up for the mission field or keeping them there is if they exhaust all their available contacts. Their church family is the first line of support. I am encouraging all candidates to contact our membership in light of such thinking.
Thank you in advance for your willingness to press ahead with processing of support requests. Please pray with me that the Lord will unleash the resources of heaven for each and every servant He wants on the field for the cause of the gospel from OGC.
Thanks for writing this pastor Curt(the new site looks great by the way) As a supported missionary I can’t tell you how important #3 is. The candidate will hear “no” far more than “yes”. Do not feel bad if you have to give an answer of no. We realise that God provides our support and that He chooses to do it through certain individuals and churches. We are merely discovering who those people are that God has chosen to support us. So no one should feel awkward about saying no if that is how God is leading. However it should make a person very glad if God has prompted him to become partners in the gospel with an individual missionary!
Kudos to Grace for addressing this, far to many churches give little guidance to the congregation when it come to missions and missionary support.
Thanks for the word of encouragement, sir!