Raising support for independent missionaries
Christian missionaries are individuals or groups of people who devote their time and energy to spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to people who may not have had the opportunity to hear it before. Missionaries often work in foreign countries where Christianity is not the dominant religion and where they may face challenges like language and cultural barriers, as well as financial constraints. This is where the importance of missionary service organizations comes in, especially when it comes to raising support for independent missionaries. In this article, we will consider some of the reasons why supporting independent Christian missionaries is so vital to the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ and how we can do our part to support their work.
Several Reasons for Supporting Independent Christian Missionaries
Spreading the Gospel Message
The primary reason to support independent Christian missionaries is to help facilitate the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ to people who may not have had the opportunity to hear it before. Independent Christian missionaries, with Paul, resolve: “I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written, ‘Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand’” (Romans 15:20–21 ESV; cf. Isaiah 52:15).
Many people in other countries have never been exposed to the Christian faith, and independent missionaries serve as a bridge to bring the gospel message to them. “Our hope,” the apostle expressed, “is that as your faith increases, our area of influence among you may be greatly enlarged, so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another’s area of influence” (2 Corinthians 10:15–16 ESV).
And for those who accept the message, it will be a life-changing experience! It will have a profound impact on their lives and their communities. Just consider the impact the word of the Lord had on the Ephesians in Acts 19:18–20!
Meeting Practical Needs
In addition to spreading the gospel message, independent Christian missionaries often provide practical help and support to the people they serve. For example, one missionary may dig water wells in remote villages while another teaches English as a Second Language to children; one may provide training in practical skills at an orphanage while another transports medical supplies to the jungle; one may provide medical care to the poor while another constructs a hospital.
Whether it be providing food and water, shelter and medical care, or even education and job training—by meeting these practical needs, missionaries build trust and credibility with the people they serve, which in turn opens doors for them to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. As the apostle John encourages us, “Let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18 ESV).
Independent Christian missionaries are often immersed in foreign cultures and languages, and they have the opportunity to learn from and exchange ideas with the people they serve. This cultural exchange can be a valuable learning experience for both the missionaries and the people they serve. It often builds bridges of understanding and respect between people of different cultures, which in turn opens doors for missionaries to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with them. Just consider how Paul’s being fluent in both Greek and Aramaic impacted his hearers (Acts 21:37–22:2)!
Independent Christian missionaries often spend years living and working in foreign countries. As a result, they build deep and lasting relationships with the people they serve in those communities. These relationships become powerful conduits for spreading the gospel message, as people are more likely to listen to and trust someone they know and respect. Yet, maintaining relationships is never easy; it requires prayers and intentionality.
Supporting Local Communities
Independent Christian missionaries often work with local communities to help them develop and implement solutions to their problems. This may include working with local leaders to develop sustainable agriculture or business practices; it may include partnering with local organizations to provide education and healthcare services. By working closely with local communities, independent missionaries help build self-sufficiency and resilience, which can have a lasting impact on the people they serve—long past the missionary’s lifetime.
Building a Global Christian Community
By supporting independent Christian missionaries, we help build a global Christian community that transcends national and cultural boundaries. Like Jews and Gentiles in the early church, missionaries today from different countries and cultures can work together to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and support each other in their efforts. This helps create a sense of unity and purpose among Christians around the world, and it helps foster a spirit of cooperation and collaboration. As John commends Gaius, “It is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are” (3 John 5 ESV). Or consider how Paul collected an offering from Gentiles in Greece for Jews in Jerusalem (Romans 15:25–26)!
Missionary Service Organizations
Missionary service organizations are groups that support independent Christian missionaries in their mission work. Missionary service organizations such as Mission Quest provide a variety of services, including logistical and prayer support, years of experience in navigating difficulties on the field and back home, and administrative assistance for raising support.
This is precisely where the importance of missionary service organizations such as Mission Quest comes in, especially when it comes to raising support for independent Christian missionaries. The apostle John encouraged Gaius, “We ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth” (3 John 8 ESV). When you support mission work through Mission Quest, you serve as a fellow worker for the truth because you’re supporting the spread of the gospel message all over the world through a reliable organization that is accredited for its financial transparency by multiple third-party organizations, including the ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability). What’s more, Mission Quest works with trusted independent Christian missionaries who stand by our evangelical Statement of Faith. So, when you give through Mission Quest, you get the peace of mind that your donation is being handled with care and is being used for the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ.