The Church, Missions & Technology

Acts of Service

Before we get started today can I ask a question? Why do we love missionaries? What code or set of responsibilities do we take on as we love people that leave our church to plant new churches in other cultures? We have been talking about loving missionaries through the 5 Love Languages but I just want to make sure you know why the church needs to love them.

One of the questions that Dr. Chapman asks is, “What would you want someone to do for you if they loved you” We have to ask missionaries how they would feel most loved from a sending church. It is not a difficult question. Understand that most missionaries are no different from you or me in the fact that they feel loved in a certain way. For example, if you feel loved when someone cooks a meal for you, then as the sending church you can cook meals for the missionary family. Wait, how is the church going to cook missionaries a meal if they live 23 hours away. Last time we checked Pizza Hut doesn’t deliver that far, right? Don’t get me wrong, on more than one occasion I have carried a Chickfila sandwich or a dozen Krispy Crème donuts across multiple time zones for missionaries, but that is a love language that we are not coving today.

What could we do for missionary wives to serve them. I highly recommend that you travel to them and serve them. Help them with meals. Help them repair broken items. A major act of service that translates across zones is watching children. Remember that most missionaries do not have friends or family that live right down the street that can watch their children overnight. So go and watch their children for a night or two. I was in a budgeting meeting this past week where I heard that a particular church gave its church planters $800 every year to take a family vacation. I jumped in and said whatever you choose to cut this year do not cut that. People in ministry desperately need time away to recharge.

Most of us in the church need to be able to love missionaries through acts of service even though we cannot be geographically close. One act could be if you know that missionaries are coming back the the states for a limited time you could help them arrange doctor appointments or assist them get their children into a local school. It could be something as simple as getting them a hair appointment at the salon, and watching their children while they get their hair cut. Some ladies have to wait years between getting haircuts from their husbands and going to a real salon where they know what they are doing.

Dr. Chapman encourages husbands and wives to some what challenge the stereotypical roles they have in order to better love their spouse. I want to challenge the church to break away from its traditional form of missionary support in order to better love and serve missionaries as they plant churches among the unreached. This challenge to love missionaries in a new way is why I write, encouraging churches to try something new in order for us to have healthy and effective missionaries.

Things you can do…
Today: Ask a missionary how they would know if a church loved and supported them.
This Week: Pray about what it would take for your church to visit a missionary family in order to love and support them.
This Month: Find out the next time your missionaries will be in the states for a visit. Ask them if you can visit with them to get to know them better. If they will not be in your city, travel to see them.