What is the pastor's relationship to supporting field ministry?
We’ve already talked about the pastor having regular (at least annual) communication with the church’s supported missionaries. A letter describing the major themes of teaching and ministry for the year would suffice. If there are significant personnel changes or trends for the church, the missionaries would like to hear it directly from the pastor.
We recommend that the pastor have a long-term plan to visit every missionary in their field of ministry – not as a guest superstar speaker, but primarily as a learner. As a shepherd, the pastor should take an interest in the manner of life and stresses of local living and culture on “his” missionaries. Experiences on the field produce a heart for the workers, their ministry, and those to whom they minister. Illustrations of sights and sounds, joys and terrors, smells and touch begin to empathetically infuse the pastors sermon illustrations and prayers.