Financial issues regarding tentmaking support of missionaries and mobilizers
FINANCIAL SUPPORT OF MISSIONARIES
ANSWER From: Doug Davidson <75402.104@CompuServe.COM>
You are right, the picture stinks. I think the way we do missions is the pits and far less than second or third best. I am looking to find a better way. I am presently a missions pastor in a significant church which is a missionary church. We have moved to supporting only those who have come through our church. Currently we have 5 great missionary candidate couples and one single. It is our goal to move toward supporting fewer missionaries at a greater level (25 to 50%). We aren't there yet but will get there, Lord willing. In turn, we will expect a greater accountability from the missionaries. We want them to come home and virtually be on staff as a missionary in residence on a part time basis. We do not want them to be run ragged visiting hundreds of individuals and churches. I would like to see them get an even greater % from us, but we will have to see if that will be feasible.
Before coming on staff at the church where I am now, I served in a tentmaker capacity in Asia. Loved it. Would love to still be doing it. That brings me to one suggestion. I am utterly convinced more missionaries need to move toward a tentmaking status 1) to get into otherwise restricted countries and 2) to free them from raising so much support. Paul did it. Moravians did it. The "faith" missions business of having each individual raise their own support is sad. As a missions pastor, I get dozens of requests every month. It is so tiresome. I have a hard time not being cynical.
Organization: AD2000 Mobilizing New Missionaries
From: Pari Rickard <email@example.com> In the Mobilizing New Missionaries network, we are identifying two key elements for missions mobilization for unreached peoples:
1) We need to see the Adopt-A-People Movement much more clearly rooted across the world in local churches and many more churches getting on board in the program. That is obviously going to be crucial to the funding and prayer support required for missionaries around the world. We put many of the overheads for adopting people groups that we designed a few years ago into Africans. They are in South Africa, being disseminated in the churches through several different systems.
2) The student interest in missions is running ahead of the churches, which obviously means a shortage of prayer and finances for the movement. I think another way to address that is to begin to clearly disseminate global opportunities for the 10/40 Window into the hands of the various AD2000, other mission organization, student movement, and general missions interested people around the world. In that, we have staff working on what we are presently calling a "Placement Guide to the 10/40 Window". This placement guide is an attempt to collect in usable and easily reproducible form actual placement opportunities in the 10/40 Window, of which many actually involve finances.
When we were in South Africa, talking to the AD2000 MNM reps down there in the Cape, it seemed to us that the clearest gap right now is the lack of actual opportunities for these many students. If many of them, who have many qualifications, could be placed in jobs across the world, then local churches sending them out would have less of a problem financially.
Of course, our lessons in Central Asia are showing us that tentmaking can be done, to the effect of actually producing churches and believers in unreached people groups, if it's done carefully and in the context of clear mission goals. As well, some of the concerns about tentmakers working too many hours with little reinforcement are also sometimes diminished when we get several people doing the same thing in the team context.
In that, then, I am seeing jobs as a crucial way to get people like these students out into the 10/40 Window. As we gather information and disseminate it to these students and our local churches, then we seem to get a marriage of both the missions commitment, prayer support, and perhaps some finances to help support the missionaries.