How do we graciously release missionaries from support?

There are a number of reasons why the church might choose to no longer support a missionary. Here are some of them:

  • the church has split or disintegrated or closed
  • the missionary has left the ministry for which the church was supporting them
  • the missionary (or their agency) has diverged or departed from the churches doctrinal, strategic, or methodological values
  • the church has diverged or departed from the missionary’s doctrinal, strategic, or methodological values
  • economic hardship has hit the church family
  • the missionary has fallen into sin and must be disciplined or released from ministry
  • the missionary has personal issues which eclipse their capacity for fulfilling the ministry for which the church was supporting them

Good communication and a caring shepherding relationship make release from support easier. It is a good thing to inform the missionary as soon as the church missions leadership knows that release from support is possible. It is helpful to have a face-to-face debrief interview. It’s even better, though rare, for the missionary to initiate closure or communication when they sense such a cut coming. Gracious churches often specify a period of tapering down support over the course of 3 months, 6 months, or a year. If the cause of support cuts is a dramatic economic hardship, then you should not be embarrassed to explain that the cuts must be taken ASAP.

If your church is the home or sending church of a missionary being released from support, you may go the extra mile to help the missionary raise funds to replace what is being lost.

 

Come back to this page for future additions of comments, links, and downloadable resources.

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