In a previous post, we shared a video about “sending,” the missional practice of supporting (financially and otherwise) missionaries so that they can flourish in the ministries God has called them to. What are some practical ideas of how to do this? See below for a “starter list” of creative ways you help send a missionary.
- Write thoughtful (read: longer than a couple of sentences) notes, letters or e-mails to the missionary on a monthly basis.
- Donate frequent flyer miles for the missionary to use (missionaries spend a lot of time on airplanes!).
- Provide storage space for furniture and other items the missionary cannot take to the field.
- Send them an iTunes gift card so they can download some of their favorite music.
- Does the missionary have a favorite hobby? Collect items related to that and send it to them while they’re on the field.
- Ask them what physical items might be useful to give away to locals (clothes, toys etc.) in their area, then buy and send to them to use in their ministry.
- Ask the missionary what food items they really miss from their home country. Then send a package of it to them (make sure to pack it in such as way that it will survive an international journey).
- Offer to help be the missionary’s “tech fund,” and buy them any electronics they need for life and ministry (laptop, iPad etc.). Recruit other members of your church (Sunday school or small group could be a good place to start) to help with this.
- Send the missionary e-books to read.
- Recruit a short-term team from your church to visit the missionary on the field and offer encouragement as well as help in their local ministry.
- Help the missionary with the financial and legal matters in their home country. This could include tax preparation, will preparation, international bank transfers etc.
- Organize a 5K run/walk, with proceeds going toward the missionary’s ministry.
- Hold a special Christmas offering or project to raise funds for the missionary.
- Introduce the missionary to your friends and others (Sunday school classes, small groups etc.) who might be interested in financially supporting them.
- If a missionary has a college-aged child going to school in your area, offer a room in your house for him/her to stay while in school.
- Leverage any specialized skills (IT, web design, accounting, woodworking … it can be anything!) to bless their ministry in a practical way.
- If you have a credit card that earns Reward Points, consider donating them to the missionary.
While the missionary is on home assignment:
- Loan a car for the missionary to use while they are home from the mission field. (Note: If the missionary has children, buy or find car seats for the children.)
- Help them find appropriate accommodations.
- Help stock their pantry for the first couple of weeks they are back from the mission field.
- Take them out to dinner (or have them over for dinner in your home) once a month (if possible).
- Provide a vacation home for a week or two for the missionary.
- If the missionary has children, find out any special needs or preferences the children may have and help meet those.
The above is a relatively short list. The number of ways you can send is limited only by your imagination. Use your creativity to participate in the Great Commission and send missionaries in creative ways!