The Church, Missions & Technology

Quality Time

Today we are continuing our series on Loving Missionaries through the Five Love Languages. Loving missionaries through this love language can be difficult because there are really only two times in which you can give them the time that they need. The first is when you are with them as you visit on the mission field. However, this is not often. Most of the time churches come out to see missionaries sent from their church once a year, if they are lucky. This leads us to the second time that you can spend quality time with missionaries. While they are on home assignment. This is the church’s time to shine. This is the church’s time to love on missionaries.

This is the time to give “focused attention” to the missionaries. Ask them questions about their lives. Listen, try your very best to just listen and not interrupt them. This is extremely difficult for some pastors. They want to talk talk talk. It is what we pay them to do so, it is good that they like to talk. But we need to encourage pastors to listen. Learn the art of asking good questions.

If we know that most people only listen for 17 seconds before interrupting then we are going to strive to go above and beyond for missionaries. Missionaries love to talk about what God is doing in their lives and the lives of the people group they work among.

Dr. Chapman mentioned Quality Activities. When the missionaries are on home assignment take them to go do something that other churches might not do. Ask them what is their favorite activity and go do it with them even if you hate it.

I know sometimes that in the church we like to over complicate matters. But this love language is super simple, just spend time with the missionary. This means go visit them and then spending as much time as you can with them while they are here in the states.

Things you can do…
Today: Contact the missionary you love and support and thank them for spending time with you the last time you where together. You really appreciated their time talking with your church or small group.
This week: Ask them questions about what activities they like to do the most.
This month: Set up a time to talk with your missionary face to face and just listen to them talk about the work and how they are doing. Ask good questions about their relationship with Christ or ask them about their journey right now.

Words of Affirmation

In the church we use words to accomplish so much. We use words to share the gospel, disciple new believers, sing praises to God, and pray to our Heavenly Father. We use words all the time. As we continue to look at missionary care we will look today at loving missionaries through Words of Affirmation.

We know that words are important for missionaries too. They proclaim the message of the gospel, which is kind of a big deal in what they do, but for them to receive communication from friends and family and especially from members of their sending church is incredibly important. Missionaries are an extension of the local church. So if you have a missionary sent out from your local body, then you need to provide the same care to them as you would any other member of your congregation, and staff. It will not look the same but the same care needs to be applied to all those sent out.

We often use words to encourage missionaries. “The word encourage means to inspire” says Dr. Chapman. We want to inspire missionaries to continue to fight the good fight. We want to inspire them to be light among the darkness, and to continue to be obedient to what God has asked them to do.

We constantly pray that God will work in and among the unreached people groups of the world. Why then would we not want to share those same words with the ones out on the front lines proclaiming the gospel. Let me share something from personal experience, “Missionaries need to hear from you.” It can be as simple as “Hey just want you to know that I am thinking about you today”. If the missionaries from your church are in less secure areas please say it more like, “Hey I want you to know that this morning I prayed that God would show you the person you need to share the gospel with today.” Use your words to show missionaries how much you love and appreciate them for their obedience. Your Words of Affirmation have more impact than you will ever realize.

Things you can do…
Today: Send a note, email, or text to a missionary you support. Encourage and inspire them.
This week: Find the best way to regularly communicate with a missionary you support.
This month: Skype or FaceTime a missionary you support.