Missionary finances

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Deacon, Nov 20, 2003.

  1. Deacon

    Deacon
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    We have a number of long term missionaries that have recently seen a major drop in support, coupled with a rise in living expences.

    One woman missionary to Papua New Guinea will probably have to return to the States and spend significant time raising support anew.

    Another family now on furlough from South Africa is sending out appeals but is about $1200/mo. short of funds for his return in January.

    A friend serving in New York (United Nations) is also experencing financial difficulties.

    All this at a time when the church is cutting budget to keep in line with current dismal giving.

    Are things similar all over? Are church budgets strained?

    (Anyone looking to lend support to a seasoned misssionary?)

    Rob
     
  2. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    The new weak dollar policy is crushing missionaries in Europe. We have lost about 35% of our support in the last 2 1/2 years or so. God is good, He will meet the needs.

    I understand it is VERY expensive to support missionaries. It is quite a dilemma for all.
     
  3. Jim1999

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    That is very sad, As go missions, so goes the church. What the church does about missions is often a barometer about that local church. In my mind, missions should be a priority, and a commitment must be kept.

    Sorry to hear the bad news.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  4. mark

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    Not the case in our church, we have a membership of 180, Sunday morning attendance of 300-400 and a missions budget of about $150,000.
     
  5. donnA

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    Actually the giving at our church is up, so is what we give for missions. Plus we help support(part is paid bt NAMB) a migrant mission we started in our area that God keps growing.
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    Every missionary in the world could be fully supported with the 1.7 billion that is spent on Viagara et al.

    We have priorities. MOST churches have their OWN welfare at the center. Big beautiful buildings. Big staffs. All amenities.

    And a pittance to missions. And a lot of those missions are "fun" ones here in the US (sno board camp, etc)
     
  7. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    At the risk of sounding like a whingeing missionary - I think churches could FULLY support missions if everyone in each church just gave up their cable/satelitte television and gave only THAT to missions.
     
  8. pinoybaptist

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    No offense meant here, but, isn't the God who supplied the needs of Elisha and of Paul the same God missionaries are supposed to be serving ? Isn't the God who caused manna to rain on His people supposed to be the same God missionaries are serving ?
    Why should a missionary be so dependent on the funds raised by a board or a church ? Even in my days with the other order of Baptists I used to belong to, I thought it odd that my going out into the field had to depend on a diploma, and the willingness of some people to help and support my mission.
    Has the Holy Spirit transferred His authority and power to teach to fallible human colleges ? Had the triune God retired and now lets churches and mission boards run the support of people He is supposed to have called into the field ?
     
  9. Ulsterman

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    It might help less well off misionaries if some mission boards did not set excessive levels of income for their personnel. One missionary coming to these islands has been instructed by A Baptist Missions Agency to raise $6000 per month. Not bad, given it is two to three times what the average family here earns, and equates almost with what the First Minister (Head of local government) earns. This missionary has only has his wife to care for. Needless to say he will spend years raising this support, when he could be, and IMHO opinion should be, living in and around the level of the average person here.

    Ultimately, such missionaries live in the estimaton of the national people like "flash Harrys" with money to spend on fancy homes and cars, never identifying with the people they are trying to "reach" and raising an artificial barrier to effective missionary endeavour.

    If the truth be told, three national pastors and their families could be fully supported for that amount and would in general do a much better job planting and/or establishing churches here.
     
  10. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Wish I had anywhere close to $6000 a month ;) !

    Not complaining but a little refutation - I pay $1400 a month to RENT, not own a house becasue I can't afford to buy one and I drive a 1992 Toyota van.

    Please UM, do not paint all with one brush.

    I agree fully though that national pastors can do the job with much more effectiveness.
     
  11. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Please refer to my first post, God will and does meet those needs, but missionary giving goes back to the New Testament church.
     
  12. Ulsterman

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    In no way C4K would I wish to paint all missionaries with the same brush. I understand the economics of your part of the country, but the missionary I referred to is coming to N.I. where housing etc., is not nearly as costly.

    For the record, there are missionaries I dearly love on this island whose efforts and work ethic in the service of Christ are beyond reproach, but we both know that there are others throughout these islands who are effectively on a four year vacation before their one year furlough! We don't need such men, nor do their supporting churches in America.

    They really are "robbing the churches," in my view, and no missionary should be paid the equivalent of a Prime Minister's salary in a developed European national context.
     
  13. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Total agreemenent with you there UM.
     
  14. Deacon

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    I'm not complaining about how much a missionary asks for!
    I have no problem with providing a missionary 6K/mo. They certainly don't get rich on it.

    With it they pay:
    Housing costs. (Sometimes paid to the renter in one lump sum per year)
    Health costs (No employer help)
    Education for their children (sometime they hire one teacher for the family or they could send the kids away to boarding school $$$)
    Car and costs related (You think gas is expensive here? Check it out in a foriegn country)
    Insurance and retirement benefits (through their missions agency if provided at all)
    Education (learning the language costs money$$)
    Emergency fund (a general amount usually given to the missions agency from their funds-covers all missionaries)
    AND missions work costs

    (I'm sure I missed some other major expenses.

    Additionally some missionaries in third world countries hire help for thier households to allow their wife the opportunity to serve rather than perform menial tasks.

    Many of the benefits we take for granted in the U.S. are not provided in foriegn countries.

    Rob
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    When talking about missionary support, don't forget that most missionaries are paying virtually all church costs, such as building rental, promotion, printing, literature, utitilities, etc. These are things that most pastors in the states and the people in the pew never pay.
     
  16. Dr. Bob

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    Interesting story:

    Our little town in Wisconsin got a Filipino doctor. He and his family came to church; we all assumed him Catholic and just visiting each of the churches in town to get acquainted.

    Wrong. He was Baptist through and through. Saved in a village in the Philippines. He shared that there were three missions working in his area.

    Cult, Conservative Baptist, and New Tribes (baptistic independent type). People laughed at the message of the cult. People gawked at the RICH Baptist preacher whose wife hired help to do everything and who built a large western-style luxurious home.

    New Tribes missionary lived in the village in a typical house, ate with the people, worked with them. His message was looked upon as "real".

    And the doctor's family was saved and discipled and, curiously, became baptistic in belief adn faithful members in our church.
     
  17. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    As a missionary I truly appreciate your thoughts, Rob. However in Northern Ireland (or even here in the Republic) a missionary would indeed get rich on $6000 a month. We "survive" on less than 2/3 of that and living expenses are much cheaper in Northern Ireland. Plus you do need to factor in the fact that as US missions givers are taught to "give by faith" so in some aspects missionaries do need to "live by faith."
     
  18. Ulsterman

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    This is sometimes expected of national pastors who take on small missions works after the missionary has gone. The problem is the national pastor cannot usually afford to supply all the resources his realtively wealthy predecessor brought to the ministry, and many times when the missionary goes, the "church" bus, photocopier, computer etc., goes with him.
     
  19. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    To UM and others,

    The real "heroes" in missions work are the national pastors who take over struggling missionary works. They usually have all of the disadvantages the missionary had with little or any of the advantages. The missionary should not leave until the church can properly support their own pastor, unless he is willing to leave some of his resources with them.

    Please don't tell UM ( ;) ) but I do admire these men of faith. They can't just go back on furlough when things get tough.
     
  20. mioque

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    "And a lot of those missions are "fun" ones here in the US (sno board camp, etc) "
    And that is the reason, my church avoids working together with young foreign missionaries like the plague. :(
    To often they are here on vacation.

    "isn't the God who supplied the needs of Elisha and of Paul the same God missionaries are supposed to be serving ?"
    Paul mostly supplied his own needs. He had a job, that he took with him to support his missionary activity.

    "such missionaries live in the estimaton of the national people like "flash Harrys" with money to spend on fancy homes and cars, never identifying with the people they are trying to "reach" and raising an artificial barrier to effective missionary endeavour. If the truth be told, three national pastors and their families could be fully supported for that amount and would in general do a much better job planting and/or establishing churches here."
    One of the reasons the Roman Catholic church has gotten so big, despite all the money 'wasted' on art (actually usually it's kitsch), is that they do their work on a lower budget than competing missionaries.
    To quote a Cisterciƫnzer nun I know:" If the local people live on worms, so do you." :eek:
     

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