Not all missionaries are church planters. Just like in your church, where not everyone is a pastor. God calls missionaries who are gifted in other areas, such as education, finance, or writing, to work for him overseas. Why does OMF need people such as these?
When we think about the need for support staff in mission, perhaps we can think about the support work in our own home churches. What would church be like without a treasurer or, in recent days, those who manage the technical issues of church online?
Not everyone can be a pastor—God has gifted us all differently. But those whom God has gifted to be pastors need people who can do other important jobs to help the church run.
How do churches avoid their pastor being overwhelmed? They ask others to lead worship, to create a weekly bulletin, and to look after the facilities.
Mission is no different. To avoid burnout, missionaries rely on others to help them. This is one of OMF’s distinctive values: we take the issue of the care and support of our missionaries very seriously. Tasks our missionaries receive help with include: visa applications, international financial matters, language learning, and communication with supporters. But more than that, we support one another as we work together.
Often the options for the education of missionary children are limited; international Christian schools are an important part of keeping many missionaries on the field as their children approach their teenage years. My husband is one of those people God has called to teach missionary children. We have people involved in communications: from the technical side of maintaining our website, to those involved in making videos, publishing books, and running our social media. I am one of those people God has called to work in communications.
Unlike many who provide support for a pastor in our home church, on the mission field support workers often don’t have a separate job with a salary. They are missionaries too, and they are an essential part of the missionary endeavor. If we truly want to reach the world for Christ, we have to support them too.
—Wendy, an OMF missionary
Will you pray for Japan?
- Pray for a better understanding around the world of the need for people to work in support roles in mission.
- Pray that missionaries working in Japan will receive all the support that they need to remain healthy.
- Pray that missionaries would take the time to minister to one another as needed.