I once heard this quote, “The true greatness of any church in not how many it seats but how many it sends!” A completely full church is encouraging, but how much more encouraging it is when a church sends out a missionary… one of it’s own. This brief article is to share with you a few ideas of what you can do to help, love and stand behind the missionary that your church sends out. The ideas come from what I have heard or seen while traveling. I hope they will be a blessing and help to you.
- Stay in constant contact with your missionary family. Praise the Lord for all of the missionaries your church supports but if a missionary is from your congregation, how much more should you stay in contact?! The common thought is “out of sight out of mind”, but keep in contact with your missionary… he is one of your own.
- Send a gift package. Every missionary misses snacks or something from his homeland and sending things in a box is not as difficult as it was years ago. Some snacks, pictures, letters and special things from the church family to the missionary’s family will bring a smile to their face and a good memory to their hearts.
- Support them more than others. If your church supports missionaries at $100, the missionary that comes from your congregation should be supported double or more. In few words, the missionary out of your church should be treated differently and there is nothing wrong with everyone knowing that the home church supports it’s missionary more than any other person.
- Go visit them. Every church should take a missions trip (yearly if possible), but for sure visit your own missionary. The pastor, youth group and individuals should be encouraged to go see where and what their missionary is doing. Remember, this missionary is your missionary, so go visit him.
- Arrange housing or supplies when your missionary comes back on furlough. I have heard of churches that help purchase airline tickets to return on furlough, others provide housing or get furniture together when they come back, others arrange for a vehicle, etc. The ideas are unlimited but the simple thought is that when your missionary comes home, help the missionary family feel you are excited and expecting them!
- Involve the missionary family when they are on furlough. Most missionary children feel awkward and do not like returning to the U.S. because of culture, food and traditions are different. Many missionary children do not like the furlough time just because they simply don’t know anyone. If the home church involves the missionary and their children with church activities, families talking to them and people memorizing their names, the missionary family will probably love being with their home church. Build relationships, be informed about their lives and simply love them every way possible.
Here to Serve,
General Director of Vision Baptist Missions