Etiquette for missionaries/hosts

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by abcgrad94, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    Do mission boards instruct missionaries in proper etiquette while on deputation or furlough? Are there some helpful guidelines somewhere for pastors/churches who entertain missionary guests.

    While our church supports some WONDERFUL missionaries, we've had some rather awkward experiences with "new" folks who came to the church while on deputation. In one instance, they stayed in the prophet's chamber and completely trashed it and the church nursery. I had to clean up urine, dried food stuck to the carpet, trash everywhere, etc.

    Recently we had a young couple visit our church (they were on deputation and didn't have a church to attend that night, so they visited ours.) We didn't know them at all, but since they were missionaries, we let them help themselves to the missions cupboard and we took them to dinner after church. They were very rude to the employees at the restaurant, much to our embarrassment and irritation, and after conversing with them throughout the meal, we knew our personalities would clash if we spent much more time in their company.

    My question is, what should a pastor or host family do in situations like this? Should we contact the mission board and complain of their bad behavior? Politely tell them to pay for their own meals or damages to the place of accomodation? Tell them not to come back? It's even more awkward when the church folks don't know of the bad behavior and want to financially support them, and you don't want to gossip about the visitors.
     
  2. BobinKy

    BobinKy
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    #2 BobinKy, Feb 10, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2011
  3. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    This is terrible behavior. These missionaries need rebuked so that (1) they know their behavior is unacceptable, and (2) they know that their behavior will prevent them getting much needed support.
    By all means contact the mission board. One reason a mission board exists is to be the representative of the churches in regards to immoral or unethical behavior. The board can only do its job in this area when the churches keep it informed.

    Our board (and I believe any good, established board) has an orientation week for new missionaries during which they are taught deputation etiquette. We also have a deputation director who keeps on top of things in these areas so that the missionaries realize when they've blown it.

    Caveat: make sure the facts are right (not a problem with you I'm sure). When we were on deputation, a pastor got upset because we asked for lodging when we hadn't told them ahead of time (a rookie mistake). So the pastor called the wrong mission board to complain about the wrong missionary (a relative with the same last name)!

    Oh, by the way, the Lord evened things out. When we were at the same missionary conference, my relative got some support the pastor told us would be ours! :laugh: We were happy for them, though.
     
  4. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    Funny story, JoJ!

    The first missionaries in my explanation did have a mission board. The second set did not. They were sent directly from their church. In fact, they grew up in the church's Christian school, attended that church's tiny college, and were sent out with the church as their "missions board."

    In the General Discussions area in another thread, someone raised the question about missions boards/church only support. The examples I shared here are one reason why I believe mission boards provide more accountability.
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I think you're right, that in general a mission board provides more accountability. However, this is not a truism, since a local church can provide accountability, and on occasion a mission board can

    On the side of a church providing accountability, my home church acted as the mission board for a missionary to the military who I knew. Unfortunately, he began mis-using funds, so the home church dropped him completely.

    On the side of a board not providing accountability, I know of two cases where the board failed. In both cases they were very small boards, so maybe that means something. At any rate, in one case the board refused to listen to credible (later proven true) accusations by of a missionary having an affair on the field. On another occasion, the leader of a small board in Mexico unethically took possession of the property and building bought by a church-planting missionary under the board (now a supporting pastor).

    We missionaries are just as human as anyone else. We need accountability, whether by the board or home church or both. Of course, my good wife keeps me accountable first of all! :smilewinkgrin:
     

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