When I was dating my wife, it was very important for me to know and meet her parents. Especially her dad. I wanted to be able to shake his hand and introduce myself as the man he has been hearing about. I was starting a relationship with my wife and it was extremely important to me to know and understand her family.

As a church, why do we not do this same thing with a missionary sending organization? You are entering into a supportive relationship with a missionary, why not do some research and see what level of support the sending agency is providing? Doing this will allow your team to determine what level of support your team will need to provide. Let’s see what to look for in a Sending Organization.

Financial Support Coaching

At the time of writing these blogs, we are deep in Covid country with quarantines taking place left and right.  Many churches have halted services, missions teams have learned how to use Zoom to meet, and many missionaries have had to evacuate their mission field.  However, many missions organizations, including Team Expansion, have found success in sending new missionaries into their desired lands despite all of the Covid restrictions. 

Many of these new missionaries were forced to raise financial support via a camera lens over Zoom or a similar online meeting platform. Financial support is vital and all missionaries rely on the gifts from churches and individuals not only to live on but for their ministry to flourish.
Does the sending organization your missionaries are a part of have Financial Support Coaching?

Many new missionaries, getting ready to go to the field, have not raised support in the capacity that they will now. Who is available to aid them on their path to fully funded? Having this information will equip you as a church to know if support raising coaching is a role that you will need to fill in your supporting relationship.

Ideally, each missionary you partner with will have this role filled by their sending agency. It’s always worth you, as a church, knowing this and if you need to support in this role any further.

Member Care

This is an area that is relatively new in the grand scheme of training and sending missionaries. Member Care or Missionary Care has just been in the spotlight for a handful of decades. When an individual, couple, or family move from their home culture to a new culture to live, much care is needed.
Let’s frame it this way. Remember back to when it was 2 years after you graduated from high school. You were either off at college or in the workforce. In essence, you left one culture for another.

How many of your high school friends did you stay in contact with two years after graduation?

Not many would be my guess. The same is true for when someone graduates college, moves to a new state, or even to a new church. Culture and proximity determine your relationships. Those missionaries moving away from their home culture need a great level of care and resources in order for them to thrive in their new home.

As a missions team, you will want to ask your missionaries if their sending organization has a staffed Member Care department. If they do not, this may become a vital role in your relationship. Knowing what level of Member Care is provided to your missionaries will dictate how you approach the conversation of support.

Mobilization Team

This is a team or department that gets a bit overlooked in their impact. For short, outside of of the missions world, the term mobilization may seem confusing.

A sending organizations Mobilization Team is usually a front-facing department. Meaning, this team is responsible for recruitment. Oftentimes, when you contact a sending organization and ask about open positions, you will be transferred to someone on the Mobilization Team.

Just as a Mobilization team member recruits for new missionaries, they do the same thing for established missionaries. When a missionary wants to grow their team in order to broaden their ministry reach, Mobilization team members support and recruit for their specific opening as well.
Does the sending organization your missionaries go through have a process where they can request more teammates on the field and have help in that recruitment?

If the answer is no, maybe your church can commit to sending a new teammate to work side by side with your missionary.

So there you go, three key aspects for you and your missions team to do research in order to know the best way to support your missionary as they begin to live cross culturally.

Team Expansion has seen the need to double down in all three of these departments. If you are considering going to the mission field and want to be supported with this level of support, feel free to start a conversation here on Team Expansion’s website. Note the chat tool in the bottom right-hand corner, I suggest starting there.

If your church would like to know how to support your current list of missionaries in a greater fashion in these three areas, feel free to click here. I’d love to connect you to those departments to receive any resource we have.