Home David Mays May 24, 2008
Four Key Criteria for Missionary Support
There are many opportunities and limited resources. How does your church decide which missionaries, projects, and organizations to support? Here are four primary considerations.
1. Does it fit within your definition of missions?
It helps to have a written definition or "scope" of missions. Who and what is eligible for support from the missions budget and what falls more properly in another budget or department of the church? If the request falls outside your purview, you can refer it to the proper group. [Many churches have separate budgets for benevolence, local compassion ministry, and/or same culture evangelistic ministry.]
2. Where does it rank among your priorities for missions?
Some ministries, people groups, organizations, and workers are more preferred, more important, more strategic, more urgent or more critical to your church than others. If your priorities are written out, you can see at a glance where this request or opportunity falls on the continuum of importance for your church. For consideration of priorities and strategies, see the CD, Developing a Missions Strategy that Fits Your Church by David Mays, www.davidmays.org
If the request or opportunity passes the above criteria, then consider two more.
3. Consider the organization
What do you know about the organization in regard to its purpose, values, ministry focus, doctrine, financial stability, track record, and operational ethos? For detailed questions see "Agency Partnerships - Criteria for Assessment and Review," Stuff II, p. 16, and "Questions for Considering Mission Agencies as Partners," Stuff III, p. 27 (www.davidmays.org)
4. Consider the worker
What do you know about the training and experience of the worker? Consider subjective factors such as character, call and competence. How well do you know the person? How would you describe the candidate's spiritual formation and maturity, integrity, relational skills, perseverance, and family relationships?
For more detail, see the Competency Profile outlined in Send Me! by Steve Hoke and William Taylor.