How Missions Is A Partnership
We can conceptualize missions as a stool supported by three legs: proclaimers, providers, and pray-ers (or intercession, investment, and involvement). Without any one of these legs, missions simply cannot be sustained.
We prefer the term ‘partner’ to ‘donor’. This preference emerged from a study of how ministry was funded in the Bible. A crystal-clear conviction emerged: God considers those who contribute financially to ministry to have a share in that ministry. Consider, for example, 3 John 8:
Therefore we ought to support such people, so that we may become co-workers with the truth.
Echoing the same principle, Paul says the Philippians are sharing in the gospel (Philippians 1.5).
This is why we talk about building a support team rather than raising funds. The emphasis is on the relationships and not on the money.
Even more significantly, however, it keeps us focused on the fact that those who decide to aid us financially are, actually, joining us in our ministry: they become co-workers with us.
Questions About Support-Raising
Majority of missionaries are not allowed to begin their mission until they have assembled a team of churches and individuals willing to fund their ministry. The churches and individuals thus become partners in the missions, partakers in the ministry. This often confuses people, so here are some answers to common questions.
Can You Just Give Me a Quick Explanation?
There is a consistent principle taught in the Scriptures: ministers should be paid by the people of God. In this regard, there are two broad categories of ministers: pastors, who are paid by the local congregations they serve, and missionaries, who are paid by others than the ones they are ministering to.
Nomane Ministry workers are required to build a support team to aid them in their ministry. Part of that support is prayer, part of it is practical support, and part of it is financial support.
Is this Biblical?
Yes. For more detail, read Mike Pettengill’s essay on The Biblical View of Financing Missions.
Why doesn’t the church pay you?
The church is paying us. The church is not a building; the church is people.
Why doesn’t your denomination pay you a salary?
- If the denomination salaries missionaries, the money has to come from somewhere–and that somewhere is from the churches.
- Raising support by contacting churches, friends and family is a far more effective strategy. Donations are tax-deductible. It is the Biblical method.
- It is a scalable system. Every missionary is required to go and generate the funds necessary for their own ministry. No matter how many missionaries we have, we can always have more because there is no fixed allotment that all the missionaries have to compete for scraps of.
- Raising support requires that missionaries build a network of relationships which keep them accountable and motivate them to work diligently.
- Missionaries beget missionaries. Most missionaries become missionaries through contact with another missionary. Support-raising forces missionaries to develop relationships that ultimately result in the production of new missionaries – going, and making disciples of all nations