Number 4 is a good one:
Try to make sure that the missionaries and organizations that you support in your budget are known to the congregation as a whole, and not just the leaders of the church.
I know some of you are thinking “No duh.”
However, there are lots of churchgoers who have no idea what missionaries their church supports and why.
Why this is so important (the honest truth).
Many churches support missionaries and organizations mostly based upon the connections between the church leaders and the missionary or organization.
Ouch, there I said it.
Sometimes they were seminary buddies. Sometimes they even worked as missionaries together in the past. This isn’t always a bad thing, but if a missionary or missions organization does not fit with the church’s priorities, then they shouldn’t be supported by that church – regardless of the personal connections with the leaders.
If the congregation as a whole knows about the missionaries, then the leaders have to give more of a rationale as to why the missionaries are supported. There is greater accountability between the leaders and the congregation, and this is surely a good thing. It builds trust.
On a positive note…
Letting the whole congregation know about the church’s missionaries has other positive aspects:
- The congregation is aware and will know how to pray for the missionaries.
- Congregants may see an area they can help with: they could offer their professional expertise to help the missionaries.
- Congregants can meet some one-time needs of supported missionaries: finances, a car for a short time, a place to stay for a little bit, etc…
Perhaps most importantly:
- Congregants can feel called to those particular missionary activities already supported by their church.
This will strengthen the church’s focus on that ministry, and the new ministry would have more confidence that their home church would be supportive of their ministry.
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