There are so many ways to support missionaries. This is the first of several posts on all the different ways that can look. When thinking about what to write about first, I decided to go with the one that might be among some people, the least popular. Why? Because it involves you giving something away that we Americans work really hard to attain.
Let’s talk about the why…why is it important to give some of your hard-earned money away?
- It provides the missionaries the means to be able to do the work they set out to do. In Philippians 4:15-19, Paul commends a church that supported him financially when he was overseas:
When I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
2. We give because everything we have is from God.
“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. It is His. We are just stewards of it.” James 1:17
My friend Vince says, “Show me your checkbook and I’ll show you what you believe about God.” Do you give to things with an eternal value or things that “moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal”?
How does your giving financially help missionaries?
- As mentioned above, it allows them to do the work they were sent to do. It takes money to live and it takes money to do ministry/run a church.
- It provides peace of mind. There is a lot of stress that goes along with living overseas: language learning, the never ending paperwork, cultural adaptations, persecution, limited ministry resources, little or no community, difficult living environments, for some raising a family. Financially supporting missionaries helps take one stress away. To not have to worry about if you have the money to get your paperwork done or to go to the doctor or to buy groceries gives security. Don’t you feel secure when you know where your next paycheck is coming from and what the exact amount of that paycheck will be? The opposite is true as well. When you see support drop, it can create panic, worry, and stress.
- Long-term giving keeps missionaries on the field for longer periods of time before they have to go back to their home country to fund-raise. Time is crucial for ministry. It takes time to cultivate relationships. It takes time to have the Bible translated. It takes time to disciple someone. And while meeting with donors/potential donors is important, it doesn’t need to consume the majority of our time.
What are ways to give to missionaries?
- One time/once a year gifts. These gifts are so greatly appreciated. They provide for big expenses that missionaries have, such as moving expenses, flights to and from their home country, paperwork expenses, etc.
- Monthly gifts. These gifts are the bread and water for missionaries. It is what gets us from day-to-day, month-to-month and year-to-year. It is vital to what missionaries do.
How to give to missionaries?
We have people we have known for years supporting us. We also have people we have meet once or twice supporting us. I think it’s important to make wise, prayerful decisions about where your money goes. But after you decide on a missionary to support, they will be able to direct you to how you can give and what their specific needs are. If you aren’t currently supporting us but are interested in doing so you can click here for more information.
There are a few things to remember when giving financially.
- Remember to do it. This is especially true for monthly donors. Help yourself remember by a)setting a reminder on your phone, b)writing it in your planner, c)set up an automatic transfer, d)if you pay by check and receive a reminder donor slip in the mail every month, write the check the day the donor slip comes in the mail.
- If something changes with your giving, let the missionary know. They have a budget too and any increase or decrease will effect it.
- Never for a minute think that the missionaries are ungrateful for what you do.
- Be gracious if you haven’t had an update from them in a while. We know it is so very important to keep you connected what is going on, but sometimes life gets messy and busy and there just isn’t time to sit down to write a newsletter that month.
Thank you so much to all those reading this who financially support missionaries. None of us could be doing what we do without you.