What are some tips for churches to best support overseas missionaries?
- Communicate often and openly. Expect misunderstandings, and try to ward them off by communicating freely and frequently.
- Seek to build a close, trusting relationship with every worker you support.
- Invest in the missionaries, not just in their work.
- Agree upon goals for the relationship as well as for the ministry. Be explicit about your side’s goals. No hidden agendas.
- Talk openly about money and hold one another accountable as stewards of God’s resources.
- Regularly evaluate the partnership. Invite feedback from the partners in ministry.
- Continually clarify goals and mutual expectations, preferably in writing. Don’t promise more than you can deliver.
- Adopt a learner’s posture and expect to learn from one another. This takes humility, trust, patience and brotherly love.
- Provide a loving, hospitable haven for them when they return home on furlough. When they’re on furlough, tell your church members to get to know them, encourage them, learn about their work, and bless them in unexpected ways.
(This material has been adapted from Ed Roberts’ article “Missions Partnerships from a Field Worker’s Perspective”)