Home David Mays October 13, 2008


Will You Support Us?

Responding to Requests Outside Your Areas of Focus

David Mays

Let's suppose your church has a well thought-out missions policy or strategy with two or three primary focus areas. You have been working hard to generate support for and involvement in those priority ministries. But the missions is highlighted, the more your own people come to you with their missions burdens and desires. They seek your support. What should you do?


   I feel God is calling me to work in an orphanage in Guatemala.

   I believe God is calling me to start a ministry among addicted and abused girls in our community.

   We think God is calling us to work in AIDs ministry in Africa.

   God seems to be calling me to an urban ministry in Chicago.

   I believe God is calling our family to adopt an international child.

Will you support us?


How should you consider the requests for support from your own people that are outside your priorities or focus areas? Here are some questions to consider:


  1. Does our Biblical basis of missions statement provide a foundation for this kind of ministry?
  2. Does this ministry fit within our definition and scope of missions or does it belong in some other ministry area of the church?
  3. Which category in our budget does this ministry fit? Is this a category where we are over budget and seeking to decrease expenditures or under budget and seeking to expand ministry?
  4. Has this candidate proceeded through our missionary preparation/mentoring process? How well did he or she do?
  5. Does this individual meet all the objective and subjective requirements of individuals we support in ministry?
  6. What could we say about their competence, their character, their call, and their cause?
  7. Should we as a church give some small amount of support to all internal candidates that qualify in terms of ministry and personal qualities, regardless of our budget priorities?
  8. Would it be helpful to have lower maximum support level for candidates that work outside our focus areas while providing higher maximum support level for those who work in our focus areas?
  9. Is God possibly leading us into a fresh area of ministry through someone he has clearly gifted and prepared from our church?