I’ve talked to a number of mission committee members about which missionaries their church supports financially. Many of them are not happy. Why? Reason #9, We have always funded them, and we can’t abandon them now.
When a new minister of missions or a new missions team gets in place, they normally review the current list of missionaries that they support. After careful investigation, they may find that the church is supporting a missionary that no one in the church has ever met or even heard from in years. Worse, a church’s mission team may specifically know that a missionary isn’t being effective, but because of a relative or the missionary’s charismatic appeals for support, many in the church want to continue the ineffective missionary’s funding.
What should we do?
The key is to develop objective criteria for funding a missionary and work to avoid letting personalities influence the decisions. Criteria for church mission team members should be the ability to make objective decisions even when they are difficult. Another helpful guideline is to only commit funding for a year or one term at a time. Then, if a church decides that funding should be reduced or eliminated, they are, at the most, only a few months away from fulfilling their commitment.
Stewarding the financial resources is an important role in your church. Avoid the error of funding missionaries simply because someone decided the church should fund them in the past.
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