9 Items That Should Be In Every Missionary’s Budget

What missionaries should have in their budget in order to live an average life, but also to engage in fruitful ministries.

Missionaries do not get into missions because of the perks. A missionary is willing to make certain sacrifices to benefit the kingdom. However, if the church were better providing for its missionaries we might attract more qualified servants and encourage them to serve longer. Providing a missionary with the resources, assistance and peace of mind the rest of us enjoy is a wise investment for global evangelism.

 

If the Christian church assumes God commands us to send missionaries to the nations, we must also assume God does not want those missionaries to needlessly struggle or go without the tools that will help them do their ministry more effectively. While missionaries should not go on the field to improve their lifestyle, there is nothing in the Bible that says they need to live a miserable existence while on the field. We must ask ourselves, should a missionary suffer in a way we wouldn’t tolerate for ourselves or our children?

The rest of this article operates under the assumption that a missionary on the field is already paying a significant price by being on the mission field and that the Lord’s servants need not pay an additional cost. Here are a few things every church should demand their missionaries have in their budget in order to live an average life, but also to engage in fruitful ministries.

Computer Stipend

Technology is vital today and allows us to research and complete projects that would have been nearly impossible a few decades ago. The time saved and value added by computer technology is great stewardship of the Lord’s resources. The extreme weather conditions and unreliable power systems in other countries frequently take their toll on electronics. Missionaries need to be able to replace computers and accessories more frequently.

Retirement

When a missionary is asked to sacrifice his earning years without contributing to his retirement he is actually giving much more to the Great Commission. If a missionary has no retirement and is forced to return from the mission field, due to illness or ability, he has no way to provide for himself. If a missionary has retirement investments, it is possible to self-fund their missions work in later years. Retirement provides a missionary with more options to glorify the Lord in their non-earning years.

Continuing Education

Missions techniques, knowledge and theory are constantly evolving. It is advantageous for a long-term missionary to stay abreast of the evolving ministry practices. Conferences, books and advanced degrees make it possible for a missionary to evolve and become a better practitioner of disciple making.

Health Care

A missionary with no way to care for catastrophic health care coverage is at great risk of harming their family or halting their ministry in a medical emergency. It is a fact that preventative care and regular checkups save lives and cost less in the long run. A healthy missionary is apt to serve longer on the mission field.

Child Education Expenses

Children should not be made to permanently struggle because their parent is an obedient servant to the Lord. Frequently international education is sub-par and parents need to options to educate their children. If a missionary serves a lengthy period of time on the mission field they reduce their earning power and ability to help pay for their child’s secondary education. Assisting a missionary alleviate part of the financial burden of education helps ensure retention of quality missionaries.

Communications Allowance

Missionaries are notoriously poor communicators. For whatever reason many missionaries do not communicate God’s glory well to the world and their financial and prayer partners. Providing resources to help missionaries communicate better keeps those back home focused and prayerful for the ministry. Webpage maintenance, online thank you card services, video conferencing, prayer letter services, and software to help with editing videos and pictures are all resources that will help missionaries better connect with their supporters back home.

Life Insurance

It would be terrible to see a disciple who is martyred during missionary service enter the kingdom and leave behind medical and burial costs, debt and a grieving family unable to care for themselves. Providing for the survivors of a missionary is important to the grieving process and a way of thanking a missionary and his family for serving our Father.

Shipping And Mail

Frequently ministry supplies and resources are hard to find in foreign countries. Often times supporters are eager to accumulate supplies and ship them to the missionary. Sometimes receiving trade periodicals, legal correspondents or ministry support can be expensive. Sending support raising videos, letters or thank you gifts from a foreign country can be hard. Correspondence in some foreign countries is often cost prohibitive.

Cost Of Living Adjustment

When the cost of milk, bread and bus fare go up, but a person’s salary stays the same it is equivalent to receiving an annual pay reduction. Missionaries should receive regular cost of living increases corresponding with the rate of inflation in the country they serve. Missionaries should not be punished for longevity.

Missionaries do not get into missions because of the perks. A missionary is willing to make certain sacrifices to benefit the kingdom. However, if the church were better providing for its missionaries we might attract more qualified servants and encourage them to serve longer. Providing a missionary with the resources, assistance and peace of mind the rest of us enjoy is a wise investment for global evangelism.

Mike Pettengill is a missionary serving in Equatorial Guinea with Mission to the World.  He previously served seven and a half years as a missionary in Honduras. To learn more about the Pettengills’ mission work visit Pettengill Missionaries.

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