Supporting Missionaries Based in the United States

Do you struggle to financially support missionaries who are based in the United States?

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If everyone who trusts in Christ is a missionary then why are some supported financially by family, friends, and donors and others are self-supported?

As is usually the case when we ask questions like this, we are asking the wrong question. We are starting from the wrong vantage point. Instead, maybe we should ask, “How are missionaries supported?” Then we realize that there is only one answer to this question, which helps us think differently about our first question above.

Yes, if we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ then we are a missionary. So what is a missionary?

This is best described in 2 Corinthians 5:18-20, “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

A missionary is someone who:

-Has been reconciled to God through Christ (they have put their faith and trust in Christ)

-Has the ministry of reconciliation (their whole life is about reconciliation)

-Has been entrusted with the message of reconciliation (specifically making an appeal to others to be reconciled to God through Christ)

Maybe you ask, “How does God reconcile us to Himself through Christ?” The next verse is very helpful. 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake God made Jesus Christ to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Christ we might become the righteousness of God.”

God reconciled us to Himself by having Jesus pay the penalty for our sin while also declaring us righteous before Himself. Jesus clothed himself in our sin, and we are clothed in the perfect righteousness of Jesus as a result. We must note that Jesus has done all the work. It is the grace of God that we can be reconciled to Him.

How in the world does this help us with our question at the beginning? “If everyone who trusts in Christ is a missionary then why are some supported financially by family, friends, and donors and others are self-supported?” Furthermore, we really haven’t answered the question yet, “How are missionaries supported?”

Let’s start to answer those now. So far, we can see who is a missionary and what their life is all about (reconciliation). When we recognize that “All this is from God,” it transforms our thinking. “How are missionaries supported?”

“All this is from God.” That’s how. That’s why the first question isn’t the right question. All missionaries are supported by God. In the palm of His hand is the whole world and all the resources of the world belong to Him. All missionaries are supported by God and His grace to you and me.

If you work in the corporate world, the money you receive is from God. If you are a worker overseas who lives off the financial support of others, the money you receive is from God. If you work for a non-profit who operates based on the financial gifts of others, the money you receive is from God. “All this is from God.”

So why is it difficult for us to give financially of the resources we have received from God for people who are missionaries within their home country? I think that answer has at least two parts. 1. It simply isn’t flashy enough. 2. The belief we aren’t reaching the unreached.

Consider with me which option is the best stewardship of God’s resources:

A. Four people do all the work to determine the best health insurance plan for 1,000 other people.

B. 1,000 people each do the work to determine the best health insurance plan.

Or:

A. Five people work through the research, preparation, and administration of a financial budget within a foreign country for 1,000 other people.

B. 1,000 people each do the work to research, prepare, and administer their financial budget within a foreign country.

Again, how does this help us answer, “Why is it difficult for us to give financially of the resources we have received from God for people who are missionaries within their home country?” The options above help us see we have the wrong view in mind.

“All this is from God.” Elsewhere in the Bible we see this applied in another way. Consider Ephesians 4:7, “But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” And Romans 12:3b-6a, “Think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them.”

That helps us see our answer. Each one of us have gifts that function differently from one another according to the grace of God given to us, and we are called to use them.

It is difficult for us to give financially to missionaries within their home country because we fail to see how God is using the gifts of the missionary in their home country to reach the unreached of the world. We limit our view of how God works to a location rather than seeing the kingdom of God as a whole. If God has given each of us gifts that function differently, we all can’t be working directly within countries among unreached peoples.

Why? Because when members of the body of Christ use their gifts as God intended, each member of the body will be performing different functions that ultimately support the exaltation of the kingdom of God as a whole. That’s why the options above highlight how the body of Christ is more effective when each missionary is using their God-given gifts appropriately. Four people or five people doing what God has gifted them to do is far and away better than 1,000 people trying to do what they are not gifted to do. “All this is from God.”

Do you struggle to financially support missionaries who are based in the United States?

Our family is one of those that God has called to use their gifts to support God’s people to magnify His work all over the world. We are based in the United States. We believe we are more effective at reaching the unreached people in the world by using our gifts at SIM USA so that 1,000 people working among the unreached will be more effective using the gifts God has given them.

Consider financially supporting and with prayer a missionary based in the United States. God has gifted us differently in order to function differently. God has gifted you financial resources to give to His work. You can faithfully give those resources to missionaries based in the United States because they are having a direct effect on the missionaries among the unreached to be able to use their gifts as God intended.

Pray and give to a missionary based in the United States today.

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