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Moochanaries

Thought of the Week – Moochanaries (August 30, 2011)

A brother was in a gospel meeting in which there were several missionaries present. There, he heard one unidentified pastor joke to another, “Look at all the mooch-anaries here.”

While most churches and pastors have experienced a bad apple in the mission field, something is wrong when all missionaries as a whole are labeled in such a way. I don’t think the problem is that there are too many “bad” missionaries, but the problem is that there are too many good missionaries that are having a hard time getting to the field. IF the above example represents a prevailing attitude among pastors, then no wonder so many missionaries have such a hard time getting to the field.

Let us consider a few things. First of all, missionaries are operating according to the system that is in place. The ideal way for a missionary to be supported would be 100% through their sending church. But, for most churches, this is not possible. We have the current system in which missionaries raise support through local churches. When a missionary calls and asks to come our churches, yes, he is looking for financial support. Yet, we expect him to pretend that it isn’t the real reason he is calling. We expect them to say they covet our prayers or just want to share their burden. If they are truthful and say they want financial support in order to carry out their burden, they will often get labeled as someone who just wants money. Is this really fair considering that this is the system in which they get the money they need in order to get on the field?

Second of all, let’s consider the way many missionaries are treated by pastors. By the time a missionary makes it to the field, most have been on the road for several years and have been through hundreds of interviews. I agree that pastors need references and need to know what missionaries believe. But, some pastors attempt to force missionaries to answer questions that are way too personal in nature. Some expect them to answer questions that a pastor would never answer if they were questioned by their church. Just because we have something that they need, gives us no right to make them jump through hoops in order to get it. And, if a missionaries isn’t a member of a particular board, out of a certain school, or run with a certain crowd, many have no chance of getting support in certain circles. Is the Holy Ghost limited to leading us to only support missionaries from only one certain camp?

Lastly, let us remember that we are in this together. We may be able to reach our Jerusalem without the help of missionaries, but we will never reach the uttermost part of the world without them. How will the local church fulfil it’s comission without the help of missionaries?

The next time a missionary comes to your church, what will you wee? Will you see a “mooch”anary who wants your money? Or will you see a MISSIONARY who is helping you carry out The Great Comission?

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