Should We Support Home Missions?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by rbrent, Jan 3, 2004.

  1. rbrent

    rbrent
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    I've worked as a church planting missionary all over the USA, helping start churches or helping young churches grow.

    I always worked a secular job to support myself.

    I've noticed that many folks these days want to be missionaries inside the United States - to the Jews, to the Mormons, to street people, to drug addicts, etc. BUT they apparently prefer not to work to support themselves.

    Instead, they want to be "missionaries" who are supported by other folks.

    I am not inclined to support home missionaries in the above context, since they are perfectly capable of working to support themselves while they minister.

    Working to support yourself seems like a good way to convince the lost of the sincerity of your calling. And if the lost you are trying to reach think you are not sincere, they won't listen.

    I've known many men of God who went to a city where they felt God had called them, got a job and worked to support their family, while they started a church.

    They began to "live of the gospel" (I Cor 9:14) when the church they started had grown enough to support them.

    I can understand supporting missionaries abroad, where frequently, it is not possible for the missionary to work to support himself and his family, while they minister.

    But to pay someone to be a missionary to the Jews in New York or Detroit or to be a missionary to the Mormons in Salt Lake City, seems kind of like supporting a moochinary instead of a missionary.

    If the Lord called me specifically to minister to, say, the Jews in Philadelphia or Miami or where ever, I would go there, prayerfully seek the Bible Believing Baptist Church the Lord led me to and work through that church, while working a secular job to support my ministry.

    It seems like home missions ministry should be conducted through the local church instead of through a parachurch organization.

    I did self-supported home missions for years around the country and always have wondered why others are not willing to do that after experiencing what they describe as "God's call to be a missionary."

    So here's the Question:

    Why do you expect others to work to support you as a "missionary" here at home?

    Is God's missionary call on your life genuine enough that you will do what He has called you to do in Home Missions even if we do not support you financially?
     
  2. JustAsIAm

    JustAsIAm
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    God bless you for seeing the need for Church planters and missionaries within the US. I live in New England, and solid, Bible preaching churches are very difficult to find. I am currently a member of a church that is the result of a church planting ministry supported by other churches around the US. We are now self-supporting, but even when we still had mission status, the church paid back what we could afford to the sending organization (in this case the ABWE)who was then able to help other church planters. This way we were preparing to support our pastor ourselves. There are not many IFB churches up here, so much of the work of church building fell on the pastor's shoulders. He and his wife did take part time work to help with their own support, but the church would have had a much more difficult time getting off the ground if he had to work full-time.

    I do see your point, however. Having been in the field yourself, you are probably more qualified than I to answer your own question, but there's my 2 cents worth! [​IMG]
     
  3. JustAsIAm

    JustAsIAm
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    Whoops! Missed the second part of your question. Yes! I would be willing myself to do my part in a mission work without pay. I probably wouldn't be able to do it full time, but the part I play at this point is small and I'm able to do it just for the love of Christ.

    I also feel there are many dedicated workers in the US who need and deserve our support, and I'd help them in a heartbeat!
     
  4. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    rbrent,

    First, Do you support your pastor full time or do you expect him to get a job??? He is a home missionary.

    Second, where the NT draw a distinction between home missions and foreign missions? What difference does geography make in the spread of the gospel?

    There are some cases in which a home missionary or a foreign missionary might have to support himself. But those should be the exception, not the rule. I also agree that if there is a good NT local church, that individual should go to that church and work in it. There is no such thing as a churchless missionary.

    Because those who preach teh gospel have a right to live of the gospel. If they are legitimate missionaries, spending their time in church planting, then they deserve support.

    I think this is a unnecessary dichotomy. God's call on pastors is recognized through the local church. If the local church says "You are unfit for ministry," then that person should not go, under the pattern of Acts 13. If the local church says "You are fit for ministry," then they ought to be supporting them.

    So the bottom line is I don't buy your premise or your conclusion [​IMG]
     
  5. HankD

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    How about :

    Hebrews 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

    Is He not our example? He worked at His secular calling until His Father's greater calling and that within His own land and people.

    But, I do agree with your terminology of "moochinary". It happens and maybe too often.

    The Scripture supports both: working or receiving from those to whom we are sent or are being sent by.
    "the labourer is worthy of his hire".

    So, I would give a qualified - yes, we should support home missions if indeed they are "missions".

    HankD
     
  6. rbrent

    rbrent
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    Pastor Larry-

    Yes, we do support our pastor with a fulltime salary, a car, expenses, etc. (although he has also spent the past 30 years working as a fulltime Instructor at a Bible Institute, teaching Greek, Hebrew, Exposition and other courses). At age 82, he still pastors fulltime, still teaches a full course load at the Bible Institute, still writes several books a year and still holds evangelistic meetings once a month around the U.S. His willingness to work (and my willingness to work to support myself in the ministries the Lord has called me to) prompted my questions about the “unwillingness to work” of some “home missionaries”.

    I tried to make it clear in my post that I was drawing a distinction between home missions such as “missionaries inside the United States - to the Jews, to the Mormons, to street people, to drug addicts, etc.”

    and a man pastoring a church “I've known many men of God who went to a city where they felt God had called them, got a job and worked to support their family, while they started a church.

    They began to "live of the gospel" (I Cor 9:14) when the church they started had grown enough to support them.”


    The difference I see is that the local church pastor “lives of the gospel” in the sense that the people to whom he directly ministers are supporting him financially.

    On the other hand, the folks who want to be missionaries to:

    the Jews

    the Mormons

    the street people

    the drug addicts etc.

    are not being financially supported by the people they’re ministering to and they’re not engaged in planting churches.

    I’ve noticed a trend in “missions” - that young men graduate from Bible college or Seminary and feel called to be a “missionary” here at home.

    They expect their “call” to be recognized and their “ministry” to be supported so that they can be fulltime “missionaries” here at home, right out of Bible school, often with no practical ministry experience other than preaching at a few nursing homes or filling a pulpit once a month.

    I wonder at what point in time the call of God to do home missionary work began to mean that one no longer had to work to support oneself and family, even though the Apostle Paul (our example - I Cor 4:16 & 11:1), labored with his own hands (Ac 20:34, 35) to support himself and his fellow workers.

    You ask “where the NT draw a distinction between home missions and foreign missions? What difference does geography make in the spread of the gospel?”

    I think that is a common sense distinction.

    A “home missionary’ is in his own country, speaking his native language, living in a culture with which he is familiar.

    A ‘foreign missionary” is not in his own country, is frequently required to learn a new language and is living in a culture which is alien to his upbringing.

    A “home missionary” is legally allowed to work a job to support himself and his family.

    A “foreign missionary” is frequently not legally allowed to work a job to support himself and his family.

    Pastor Larry said: “If they are legitimate missionaries, spending their time in church planting, then they deserve support.”

    My question was aimed at “missionaries” who are not spending their time in church planting but in ministries to ‘Jews, Mormons, street people, drug addicts, etc.”

    I’m not questioning the legitimacy of those ministries - just whether folks who feel “entitled” to our support in their ministry here at home, have a legitimate right to expect “us” to support “them”?

    If the Apostle Paul could work a secular job to support his own ministry, and many Godly pastors worked a secular job while starting their church, until the church was able to support them financially, I wonder why guys fresh out of Bible school have the idea the rest of us should support them financially when they are NOT engaged in starting churches but are in an auxillary minstry?
     
  7. Precepts

    Precepts
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    Support missionaries at home? You'd better believe it!

    I'm just astounded that in America we need missionaries at home as much as we do.

    Just let's define "home". Home to some is across seas, take residents of Muldova for instance, do they need missionaries? Yes. Where do they come from? The Lord! Missionaries in US? Where do they come from? The Lord!

    Now those are God called, God sent, let's note.

    Now let's define "work".

    Is there a need for missionaries in the US to the Jews for instance? Well, let me ask my "lost" Jewish step-mother, why bother? me stand idly by and watch her go to hell? NO!

    I support HIBM, Hope of Israel Baptist Missions to the Jews,Jews all over the world. Brother Fried and Brother Sasser have both been to my daddy and step-mother telling them about Jesus.

    Now let's discuss time. Does a full time self-supporting missionary have time to go and fulfill the command of God? How can he if he's working 8 hrs a day, maybe with a family who just so happens to need his attention as the priest in his home.

    I believe it's rather a preference controlled by the love of money that delegates our perspective in the matter.

    So I ask a question, what is the value of a soul? Ask God His idea of value of a soul!

    I would rather say it's a matter of whetehr or not the missionary at home or abroad is "working". Are you?
     
  8. go2church

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    Your thinking of what a missionary is seems a bit narrow. California, Texas, New York and Florida are just a couple of states that have just about any nationality of person you could imagine. Most speaking their own language and living in a culture unique to themselves. Sounds like a place for a missionary to me.
    There is always the risk of people going to a people group and not really doing anything and becoming moochainaries, but that has always been the risk. Not going means people won't hear the Gospel, in my mind if only 7 out of 10 people do the work, I'll let God deal with the 3 and praise Him for the 7!
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    yes, I am in favor of ALL types of mission work. This includes foreign missions, of course, but also a vast variety of missions in the US. We have American Indians here in the West that are in great need of men/women to minister.

    I have done much work in the area of helping "closed" churches or struggling groups. 90% of my income comes from my own work - a vast difference from 20 years pastoring where I was 100% supported by a church!

    I think that rescue missions, new church planting, etc should be supported by our churches as very legitimate "home missions". Other organizations - Campus Crusade, IV, Gideons, and ahost of parachurch - should NOT be church supported, but godly individuals may donate to help them.

    IMHO
     
  10. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    I will do it for you then ... I do question the legitimacy of any "ministry" that is not involved in building the local church. A ministry to Jews, Mormons, drunks, drug addicts, or whoever else needs to be run through a local church. The NT knows nothing of such ministries apart from the local church. These young men should be told to 1) find a local church in which to minister to these people or 2) to plant a local church for them. Either is the legitimate way to do it, provided these men are qualified for and capable of such a ministry.
     
  11. rbrent

    rbrent
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    Thank you Pastor Larry.

    I guess I was taking the long way around the barn but you reduced the issue to its basic proposition.

    So many "ministry efforts" these days are taking place outside of and apart from the local church so there is no spiritual accountability and almost no financial accountability.

    Seems like any legitimate "ministry" can be conducted through the local church where there are praying, loving, supportive fellow believers to uphold it in prayer and provide guidance and accountability and wisdom as needed.
    And if a fellow is conducting a ministry through his local church, its a lot harder to skam and flim flam year after year because people know you and see you every week.

    After 45 years as a Christian, I've seen all kinds of fundamental, evangelical, conservative Baptist skams where believers gifted with an appearance of sincerity, make a good living in some kind of "ministry" that really isn't a ministry at all.
     

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