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A fruitful missionary is one who has been sent (commissioned) from a home church and who continues to be supported prayerfully, financially, spiritually, and emotionally whilst they serve in the field.

Not everyone is called to go, but all believers are to partake in the Great Commission of making disciples of all people groups (Matt. 28:19). Those who go must be sent into the harvest field (Matt. 9:37-38). Jesus is sending his workers into the field, but he is sending them through his body, the church.

So, how can Christians (and churches) send well?

For a missionary on the field:

  • Financially support¬†a missionary or their project. Most missionaries go for the medium term (five to fifteen years) and they need their needs met without constant financial pressure.
  • Pray about a mission worker whom the Lord would want you to encourage. The field can be a lonely, difficult place. Encourage a mission worker by e-mail, WhatsApp, FaceTime, or Skype.
  • Start/join a home sending team to encourage/support a missionary. This team can meet regularly to pray for the missionary and their field; to advocate for other Christians to support a missionary; and to compile and send care packages.
  • Learn about their mission field. Resources such as Operation World. and The Joshua Project are excellent sources of information that will help you pray effectively for the unreached people group(s) your missionary is ministering within.
  • Plan a trip with your small group to visit missionaries where they serve.

For a missionary on home leave:

  • Welcome missionaries home in practical ways. Arrange for them a car, a place to stay, and some intentional time away from fundraising. Invite them home for meals. Create a safe space where they can relax and be renewed.
  • Pastorally care for them whilst they are with you. Missionaries are not super-Christians; they have needs like everyone else. Ensure that they receive personal care and encouragement whilst they are home.
  • Ensure your missionary receives appropriate medical care when on leave as that is not always possible when they are serving.