4 Ways We Can All Support Missionaries - Radical

4 Ways We Can All Support Missionaries

For years, my college small group leader’s desire to share the gospel overseas was not something she was figuring out on her own. During the waiting period, our small group prayed for and encouraged her to rely on God’s timing and plan. Now as she is serving in Germany, we are continuing to join together as her sisters in Christ to support her good work and to pray for her. This whole time she has never been alone, but has been relying on God and others to help her do the good work Jesus has commanded.

As Christ followers, we all should have a heart to spread the gospel and the redeeming work Jesus has done in our own lives should motivate us to share this hope. The good news of Jesus Christ isn’t meant to be covered up, but to shine brilliantly to all (Matthew 5:15–16). We may all play different roles, but we as believers can take part in this by supporting missionaries we know by praying, encouraging, donating, and advocating for them.

1. Pray

We ought to never hold prayer lightly. We are not simply saying mere words, but speaking to our heavenly, almighty Father who can do all things (Ephesians 3:20–21). Our prayers matter, and praying is a way we can support those serving overseas from afar (Colossians 1:9–12). Our missionary friends need our prayers to help sustain them through the hardships and trials they experience. Be diligent to ask and pray for certain requests your friends overseas may have.

Pray for God to equip them with strength and wisdom (James 1:5). Pray for perseverance and peace despite trials and hardships. Ask God to sustain and equip them with the spiritual disciplines they need to share the gospel. Also, pray for those they minister to have open, willing hearts as they hear the gospel for the first time (Romans 15:20).

2. Encourage

As believers, we know that suffering will inevitably happen to us all (Romans 5:3-5). Missions work takes a toll. It can be dangerous, difficult, and exhausting. Leaving everything behind to venture into a place that does not hold the same beliefs with people who can be unwelcoming to Christianity is no easy feat. But we know this suffering and trials are not in vain because we are given endurance and hope because the Holy Spirit is with and equipping us.

What may seem like mere words to us can be the encouraging notes our missionary friend needs to hear to continue the good work

As our missionary friends work to make the name of Jesus known, it’s important we encourage and build them up (1 Thessalonians 5:11, Hebrews 10:24–25). What may seem like mere words to us can be the encouraging notes our missionary friend needs to hear to continue the good work. Christ is ultimately the one who empowers and equips us to fulfill his good work, but we can gather around our brothers and sisters in Christ to encourage them to persevere while fighting the good fight (​​2 Timothy 4:7).

3. Give

As Christ-followers, we are called to give generously. We give generously, not under compulsion, but joyfully (2 Corinthians 9:6–8). Even more so, we give because Christ first gave himself for us. When we give freely to support work around the world, we are not giving in order to get something, but because Christ has given us more than we could ever deserve (1 Corinthians 2:12).

Evangelical Christians are increasingly generous in supporting the work of local churches and non-profits around the world

Thankfully, evangelical Christians are increasingly generous in supporting the work of local churches and non-profits around the world. Unfortunately, only 1% of missions giving goes to reaching unreached people groups. This is what we refer to as the Great Imbalance. Consider how you might prioritize giving to missionaries who are working among unreached people groups in hard to reach places. The need for the gospel is urgent, yet donations for missionaries isn’t often a top priority.

4. Advocate

The life and freedom from our sins we have received due to the redemptive work on the cross should be a motivator for us as believers to tell others about the hope we have in Christ. It’s not a coincidence that Jesus commanded us all to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18–20). This call is not just for a mere few, but for all who believe in the triune God and the salvation Jesus has granted to us due to the cross.

While some of us believers may be back home and not serving overseas, we can still live out the Great Commission by being rope holders for missionaries. Before William Carey left to be a missionary in India, he told his friend Andrew Fuller, “I will go down into the pit, if you will hold the rope.” While Carey ventured off to share the good news of the gospel, he was relying on his friend Fuller to be a rope holder by helping him from afar.

Fuller may never have gone overseas, but that doesn’t mean he was any less zealous of global missions. As he worked with the Baptist Missionary Society, Fuller preached on the importance of evangelizing and raised funds for missionaries. Because of the work Fuller was doing back home, Carey was able to share the hope found in Jesus with people who have never heard of his redeeming name.

We can do this by sharing the hope we have in Christ with those who live, work, and play around us. We can also advocate for missionaries overseas like how Fuller did for Carey, using our voices in the spaces we are in to talk about spreading the gospel.

As a small group of girls, we are striving to be like Fuller here back home. Most of us may be living in the Bible Belt and not in a place surrounded by unbelievers, but that doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t also play a role in the Great Commission. We are holding the rope so those in Germany can hear about the life-changing hope we have because of the gospel.

Since we all play different parts in the body of Christ, some of us may be called to be rope holders and some may be called to serve overseas (1 Corinthians 12:12–27). No matter which part we are, we all can work together to build each other up and to play a part in God building his kingdom.

Selah Vetter

Selah Vetter is a Content Writer at Radical. She is a graduate of Samford University where she studied Journalism and Spanish. She is a member of Redeemer Community Church.

LESS THAN 1% OF ALL MONEY GIVEN TO MISSIONS GOES TO UNREACHED PEOPLE AND PLACES.

That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Together we can change that!