Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Support Team Defined

For "Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him?
And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him?
And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?
And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent?
That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,
"How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news"! 
- Romans 10:13-15 (NLT)

          "It is clearly established that those who serve as senders share an equal responsibility and privilege with those who go.  Each area of support has its unique responsibilities and is best served by specific giftings within the body of Christ" (pg. 184-85*

Please examine the following list
and pray about how you might serve as a sender:

1. Moral Support: Acts13:1-4 "giving an encouraging word"

          Expressions of appreciation, comfort, affirmation of calling, encouragement, enthusiastic farewell, show interest in specifics (emotions/spiritual issues/logistics), sensitivity to range of emotions as missionary prepares.  Committed church body, active listener, and supportive (duh!).

2. Logistics Support: IITimothy 4:13 "all the bits and pieces"

          Checking on stability of missions ministry, Confirming the spiritual growth of the missionaries (before, during and after); practicing and seeing solid business practices in the ministry; Storing of material goods, procedure with family matter (deaths, illnesses, etc), Determining ministry needs (supplies, tools for spiritual growth, classroom resources).

3. Financial Support: Philippians 4:10-12 "money, money, money"

          Additional fundraising for missionaries, Simply giving to the missionaries, Choosing to live simpler to support missionaries, smart stewardship with the missionaries support money, managing financial responsibilities back home (taxes, bills, etc.), allowing accountability.

 4. Prayer Support: Ephesians 6:18-19 "spiritual warfare at its best"

          Commitment to pray - long term, recognizing spiritual warfare, use the model of scripture to pray for missionary, commitment to fast, "Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers", cultural relevant Gospel presentation, the binding of Satan; involving all aspects of the Body of Christ to engage in the prayer needs of the missionaries (increase awareness at supporting churches), making prayer needs of missionaries known to the body; "PRAYER SUPPORT MOVES INTO THE REALM OF THE SPIRITUAL WHERE THERE IS NO ADJUSTMENT FOR LACK OF SUPPORT!!!"

5. Communication Support: Romans 16 "letters, cd's and more"

          Genuine/real communication, personal, short & long letters, focus on benefiting the missionary, remind oneself and others to write, "small talk" or inspired exhortation. Various modes of communication: phone, e-mail, photos, video, audio, CDs, Videos, DVDs, care packages, visits.  Reminding the Body of Christ (adults and children) to communicate to the missionaries - sermon CD's, latest worship songs, new Christian studies and books, etc.

6. Re-Entry Support: Acts 14:26-28
        "more than applauding the safe landing of his/her jumbo jet"

          Prep for reverse culture shock, dealing with stress caused by the opposing attitudes of two cultures, really ask them how they are doing, look & respond to bad behavioral patterns, integrate immediate living needs and long-range interaction, LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN, debrief.

*Most material summarized and quoted from Neal Pirolo's
Serving as Senders

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