Missions Support Decisions…

Sometimes I hear from people who are unhappy that the church is not addressing the support deficits of a missionary that Grace supports.  Why, they wonder, do we not help these wonderful people doing such a great job on so little money? 

That is a tough question.  The short answer is, we don’t have the money.  Give lots more, and missions gets a hefty increase.

The longer answer is, what money we do have has to go to 29 missionary units (families or singles), plus agencies we support (Baptist Children’s Home, Shepherds, and others), all of whom have support needs, save one missionary family reporting support at 100%.  I did a recent calculation, and all of our missionaries have a combined monthly deficit of $22,170 a month!  The total amount we have to disperse to all missionaries over the next year is going to be around $1,100 per month, based on early budget estimates for next year.  If we just give everybody an equal share, it works out to less than $30 per missionary and agency, and that doesn’t do much for anybody.

It gets even more complex, when you begin to think about priorities.  For us to function as we believe God is directing, we want to honor the following priorities.

1.  All else being equal, we want to meet GBC commissioned missionary needs first.  That is, if we are the sending church, we have taken on the primary responsibility for sending this missionary and keeping him/her on the field.

2. We place a higher priority on evangelism among unreached, unevangelized areas.  This may be through direct witness or strategic support of the evangelistic effort through partnerships with internationals.  This is because this is the primary thrust of the Great Commission.  What this means when it comes to choices with our limited resources is  that evangelism among Muslims in North African countries (0.00001% Christians) would be a higher priority than sending a missionary to plant a church in the suburbs of Dallas, TX (which has one Bible preaching church for every 5 people–OK, not quite, but you know what I mean).

The Missions Team is developing a grid based on these priorities, through which to filter prospective missionaries to help us make choices, and also to help us guide those in our congregation who may want to become Grace missionaries.   When it is done, we’ll show it to everyone with much fanfare.  Until then, no fanfare.  In fact, with the amount I shared above, if we try to take on one more missionary at an average level of support (about $400 a month would help us be at 10% support for most), then we have even less to distribute among our current missionaries. 

So, the next time you wonder why we are not helping your favorite missionary, don’t think it isn’t because we don’t want to do so.  It probably has something to do with having no money in our budget to make a commitment.

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Published in: on September 19, 2007 at 11:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

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