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April Activate Post: Doing our part on the team


Several weeks ago, I moved from Huntsville, Alabama to Fort Myers, Florida. As with any house move, there was a fair amount of heavy lifting involved. Thankfully, my husband and teenage son are quite strong. However, every once and again, my husband would ask me to help him move a piece of furniture. He would lift his heavy end up, and I would try but would not have the same strength that he had. I was certainly the weak end of the moving process.

On the other hand, I’m really great at details. I had my list of all the things that needed to be done to move. Things like address changes, setting up utilities, paperwork submission for our mortgage, and the list could go on and on. I worked diligently through the list. My husband, while a strong mover of furniture, didn’t do much for the list of details.

We made a good team to accomplish this move. We worked together. In fact, I typed this article from my newly decorated office. Teamwork is essential. A key to good teamwork is knowing your role and how to best live into that.

The teamwork that creates a partnership between a church and a missionary is a beautiful thing. John in 3 John speaks about how we as a church are to invest in traveling teachers for the gospel. He says to send them “in a way manner that honors God” (3 John 6, NIV).

If our missionaries are our traveling teachers that we partner with to the different regions of the world, then can we best partner with them? What is our role, as churches and church members, to best support them in the work they are doing?

First, remember that they are regular humans. Missionaries are ordinary Christians who answered a call to serve overseas or to a different context locally. They need encouragement, love, and interaction from their supporting churches. How can we as a church show this love?

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Respond to their newsletters. Missionaries put a lot of work into their updates, and they want to know if people are reading what they write and if they care.
  2. Communicate with the missionaries you support. Especially during times of great stress, like our current pandemic situation, reach out to them often to ask how they are doing. This can be done via email, phone, Zoom, Skype, or a good old-fashioned letter. Ask them about their personal life, not just ministry-related topics. And share your life with them as well.
  3. Send a care package. The missionaries and their families would love a thoughtful care package from supporting partners. You can ask them about some of their favorite or missed items.
  4. Pray for them. Send a note letting them know that you are praying for them from requests in their newsletters. Or you can reach out to them and ask how they need prayer for that day.
  5. Get creative. Can you make them a fun art project? How about sending a book that was meaningful to you? Could you send an Amazon gift card so they could download a book? How about a fun video that you make? A link to a meaningful TED Talk with a personalized note?
  6. Financial Support. Of course, missionaries are always grateful and depend on the support that you give them. Please continue to support your workers, especially during trying times. And, if for some reason you cannot continue to support them, send a note explaining why.
  7. Remember security issues. Please keep in mind that workers in secure areas may have restrictions on some of these ideas, but there are still ways that you can reach out and let them know that they are supported.

Be intentional as you partner with your missionaries so you can support them well, in a manner that honors God. In doing so, the entire team will be encouraged and we as churches and supporters will be doing our part!

Rhonda Dahlin serves as the director of church culture for TMS Global.