Missionary Care Through Missional Communities
Taking the gospel to the nations is not an easy task. As missionaries go out to proclaim the good news, they often become discouraged and consider quitting. Why? They feel as if they are entirely on their own, without the active support of sending brothers and sisters who can uphold, encourage, provide, and pray for them. The church’s desire should be obedience to the Scriptures as a going AND sending, supporting community. The little letter of 3 John calls the church to both send out and care for its missionaries “in a manner worthy of God.” It calls us to partnership – to “work together for the truth” with those we send to faraway lands. John commands us to love these missionaries with a hands-on kind of love, even if we do not know them personally (verse 5) precisely because we are partners in the gospel! This means that one of the best ways your Community Group can get involved in international missions is to adopt a missionary and begin caring for them.
The church’s vision may be to see each of our missionary units supported by several Community Groups who are strategically praying for, communicating with, and regularly sending packages to our member missionaries. Bottom line: We want each of our missionaries to have real and consistent care just as 3 John says they should. Would your group be willing to adopt a missionary, provide the care, and the love they need? If so, here are your next steps:
- Talk it over as a group. Pray about it as a group. Discern your ability and willingness, as a group, to commit the time, energy, resources, and relational investment necessary to love and serve one of our missionaries or ministries well, “in a manner worthy of God” (v 6).
- Designate a person in your group who will be the missionary care leader. This person/couple will connect with both the missionary and a Missions Mobilization Team member.
- Get started. There are numerous ways you can care for your missionary unit:
- Prayer– Get prayer requests from your missionary unit and pray as a group at least once a month.
- Communication– Have personal conversations with your missionary unit at least once a month through email, written letters, or Zoom.
- Care packages– Commit to send a care package to your missionary unit at least twice a year. Set a goal of once a quarter.
- Have them Visit– When your missionary unit is in the U.S., have them come and visit your group.
- Visit them– Encourage group members to visit your missionary unit on the field. People could do this individually or you could do this as a group, if possible.
Adopting a missionary is a simple way you and your Missional Community can begin serving in missions. For information about adopting a Kentucky MSC missionary, visit www.kybaptist.org/adopt-a-missionary. To learn more about adoption options with national and international SBC missionaries, contact the Missions Mobilization Team ([email protected] or 502-489-3530).