Number 5 is great for missionaries already supported by a church, but it’s a tough one for those raising support.
Be disciplined. Find a few things you really understand and are committed to and support them in a big way. Resist the “missions creep” of continually adding more good things to your budget, which dilutes your commitments and relationships.
So what does it mean to support a missionary in a big way?
In Be a Fully Funded Missionary, I recommend challenging potential supporting churches to contribute at least 10% of the missionary’s monthly budget.
Often, this is more than $500 per month – especially if the missionary has children, serves in a place with higher cost of living, or serves in a place with onerous visa fees.
[I know that some of you may be shocked at how much monthly support many missionaries require, but that’s a topic for another time.]
Why support in a big way?
For the supporters, it helps them focus and not be spread too thin. They know better who to be praying for if their church supports 8 missionaries instead of 40.
From the missionary’s point of few, it’s also a better thing.
Think about it. If a missionary needs $5000 of monthly support, and all their supporters average $100 per month, then they would need 50 supporters.
50 supporters may not sound like a lot, but look at it this way.
There are only about 50 weeks in a year, so when the missionary is on furlough or home assignment, they can’t spend more than one week with focusing on each supporter – and that’s is scheduling works out perfectly and they don’t have any other duties while home! Since most supporting churches want supporting missionaries to visit on a Sunday, the missionary only has about 4 chances per month to meet with a supporting church!
If supporters are spread all over the country, it gets worse!
If all supporters gave about $500 per month, they would only need about 10 supporters!
The missionary could invest about a whole month with a supporting church teaching Sunday School, training church members, mentoring aspiring missionaries, etc…
How does the “missions creep” take place?
A church supports missionaries based upon personal connections, and not the church’s goals and priorities.
As people in the church change, the personal connections to missionaries seeking support changes, and so “missions creep” sets in.
Consequently, the church needs to focus on and deeply understand a few things, and say “No” to other things, as good as they may be.
What big things should our church be committed to?
Pick a few, but one of them must be reaching the unreached.
Others have written and spoken about it more eloquently than me, so let me suggest just one resource for you to check out:
<<Learn the system to become a Fully Funded Missionary.>>