Mind the Gaps: Engaging the Church in Missionary Care
author David J. Wilson and Trinity Church Missionary Care Team
Churches may say they want to send their missionaries well, and they may have good intentions of doing so, but without studying a book such as this, there may be gaps that are not filled. There are many missions books that devote sections to this topic of missionary care, but this book may be the lengthiest work devoted entirely to the topic of engaging the whole church in supporting the missionaries who are to be sent from that body of believers. Written from the perspective of a missionary care team from a specific church (Trinity Church in Redlands, CA), this book offers many practical tips and ways that a church can engage in sending from the process of choosing who to send, to meeting needs on the field, and to helping with transitions that may come. The material in this book does not place an emphasis on one area of need, which serves as a good reminder that the missionaries will have spiritual, physical, and emotional needs to be met with all being of equal importance. The book also highlights the importance of working with the sending agency and reminds the reader to consider the realities a missionary might face in terms of disappointments, losses, and failures. Each chapter of the book closes with reflection questions that a missionary care team could use to further implement strategies presented. Another very important distinction that sets this work apart from others is that it draws the lines between a missionary care team and a mission team or mission committee. This makes a strong case for a church to realize its need for both distinct bodies of support for missions and missionaries. Finally, the book has a strong online resource to which many chapters of the book point the reader for further study and direction.