9Marks has a great article about the following:
Relevant Factor # 2 is:
Use your money to help build deeper relationships with a few workers by supporting fewer missionaries with more money.
This is a trend that I see in a lot of churches. Instead of giving $100 dollars to lots of missionaries, they select a few workers to give a large amount to.
Here are some support level ideas I’ve seen:
- A grid is used to evaluate the strategic level of the missionary and their relationship with the church to determine how much they give each month. The lowest amount is $100 per month, but goes up to over $500 per month.
- The church takes the missionary’s annual budget and supports one full month of the budget. So if a missionary has an annual budget of $80,000, then the church gives $6,666 dollars per year to the missionary. This works out to about $555.00 per month.
“That don’t pay my gas money.”
One reason I recommend this is that some churches will give a relatively small amount to support a missionary. Then, when the missionary is in his home country and goes to visit that supporting church, their support would barely cover the gas money to pay for the visit! For this reason, I recommend that churches only support missionaries they can support for at least $100 per month. $250 per month as the minimum would be ideal.
“I can’t keep all our missionaries straight.”
People in churches say this a lot. A church often supports so many missionaries for such small amounts that there is little focus, and church members don’t see how their giving is contributing to missions.
If churches give more to fewer missionaries, then people are more likely to understand who and why their church is supporting a missionary.
The other good thing is that a missionary is able to spend more time with each supporting church if they all support him for relatively large amounts. While a missionary is in their home country on furlough, they have a limited time to visit all of their supporters. If they have fewer supporting churches because they each give more, then they can spend more time with each supporting church. Otherwise, they spend the minimum amount of time at each supporting church, hoping they can get to them all before time runs out!
There is a downside to this approach for new missionaries. It can get really tough for new missionaries to get churches to support them if churches are focusing on supporting fewer missionaries for larger amounts. They are ways to overcome this and to tip the odds in your favor – and when a new missionary does, it can result in a large increase in support.