There Is A Need For A Local Mission Organization
It is a “MUST” for every church no matter how small it is to have a mission organization or a mission body who will take care of the mission efforts of the church. Christ himself commanded for us to reach and make disciple of all nations, to baptize them, and teaching them to obey everything he commanded (Matt 28:18-20)
However, there are churches that refused to work on this essential part for the reason that “they cannot” fully support a pastor or a church planter in full. And if they will be supporting a missionary, it has to be channeled through para-church mission organizations for transparency purposes and taking care of credibility.
There is no question concerning the efforts of these big mission organizations. They have been very helpful in the mission efforts. However, most of these mission organizations focus on foreign mission efforts, to which sometimes, we now forget that we also need to have a local mission efforts.
Another issue that can be raised is “how much” we can support our local church planters and missionaries. In my experience supporting a full time missionary was never easy and is very expensive. The worse thing is, the “how long” issue depends on the “how much” issue. The good news is, supporting a missionary doesn’t have to be expensive if done with strategy.
This is why I made this helpful article for you to clear up our minds on things that we can effectively do.
Step 1 Start a Group
In your church, you need to have a close relationship with some friends to start your local mission org. Your group may compose 5-10 people. Talk to your friends and share this great vision, to support and become a partner of a certain missionary or a church planter.
Step 2 Know Your Missionary And The Advantages of Supporting Him
It is best if you already know a certain minister who is already living in your target area but lacks some support and really needs help. If possible, choose someone who is of the same denomination and the same vision as you have.
To make it clear, I think it is more strategic to partner with someone who lives in that area and is already doing a good job in ministering, yet lacks a little boost. My advice is, he has to be a person that you already know to have credibility. Note that you will not be sending someone from your church to work there especially if it is too far from your place. You will be partnering with the local worker and you and your friends will consider him to be your missionary. Please also note that a missionary doesn’t have to be a foreigner. The moment you go out and share the gospel of Christ, you are already as good as a missionary or rather “a local missionary”.
Choosing a local missionary has the most advantages than a foreign missionary.
1. Local missionary is not so expensive to maintain because most of the time, local missionaries already have something for their living. And most probably, they already have a house. What you are going to do is just to boost his ministry that instead of him spending his own expense in sharing the gospel, you will take part of that effort. So literally speaking, you will be taking care of his gasoline expense, Bibles to be distributed, and somehow, a little refreshment.
2. Local missionaries are more effective in their areas compared to foreign missionaries. They don’t have to adjust to the language barriers, they already have a relationship existing in their community, and most of all they are already best communicators for the gospel in their respective areas.
3. Local missionaries usually just lack of encouragements and support for their ministries. In this way, you are boosting their morale to continue their work for the Lord.
4. This approach promotes “PARTNERSHIP” rather than “Supported-support” relationship. Since the money that you are sending is not really enough for a living, it will not be creating dependency of the supported party. They will still have to work, but at least, you have lessened their expenses in reaching the lost. Now we see a WIN-WIN-WIN situation. You have lessened your expense in one single mission effort, the supported party also has lessened their expense, and both your ministries will be boosted.
5. You have more chance of multiplying the same efforts. Let us take this as an example, your church budget for mission is $200 a month (both for local and international). Instead of giving that only for one foreign missionary, you can actually distribute it to TEN local missionaries in other countries (specifically in third world countries such as the Philippines, Cambodia, and Africa). I can assure you that TEN local missionaries that receive $20 a month can do FAR BETTER than a foreign missionary who receives $200 a month.
6. Partnering with local missionaries promotes longetivity and continuous efforts in reaching the lost. It is cheaper, and it would mean that it is easier to continue.
Step 3 Know The Means In Supporting Him
It is important to asses on how are you going to send the financial assistance to your partner. Know first how much it will cost you to send $20 a month. Sometimes, the cost of sending is almost the same as your support.
In cases like this, you might want to consider sending the support quarterly or bi-monthly. Or instead of supporting only one local missionary in a certain area, you might want to consider supporting 2 or 3 local missionaries in near by areas and tell them to coordinate themselves so that you will only be sending your support to only one person. In this way, it will be cheaper and more practical to send them money.
Sending a check internationally may not be too advisable because sometimes, check has more charges on the part of the recipient. So instead of sending them $20 a month, they might only receive around $15 due to extra charges in converting it to money.
You also might consider helping them to open a dollar account so that it will be a lot easier for you and for them to send money with less charge.
Western Union, Paypal, Xoom may also be a good way in sending money. For what I know, among the three, Western Union charges more than the two. If Paypal or Xoom is available in your target area or country, I think this is far better than Western Union.
Whatever means it is, choose which is cheaper and convenient to you and to your recipients.
STEP 4 Commit To How Much Will Be Your Support
I always love a small group of people than real big groups. Small groups allow more understanding and simpler intellectual connections. This is the reason why I said that try to form a group of 5-10 people.
As organizer and the visionary, ask them how much are they willing to support individually. It does not have to be big amounts; again, small amounts can definitely work well if managed wisely.
Let us say all of you committed to support $15 a month. This is not a big amount, this only about 2 hours of work in your 26 working days. That will be 10 x $15 = $150 a month. This is already a big help if you will be sending this amount to 3-4 local missionaries amount.
See to it that you will be able to fulfill your commitments.
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