Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Caring for the functional needs of traveling missionaries

3Jn 1:5-8  Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers;  (6)  Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well:  (7)  Because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles.  (8)  We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.

I was reading this passage this morning and thinking about how important it is to care for our missionaries who are traveling through our church.  You will notice that this is what is being talked about here.  The leader -  pastor? "Gaius" is being commended of his love toward brethren that were going forward with the gospel. Evidently, they were showing great care for these missionaries.

V.8 says that when we care for their needs in such a hospitable way, we are becoming fellowhelpers of the truth.  Raising missions support right now is very tough.  American churches are feeling the grip of the economy and have become in some ways unhospitable in their attitude toward those trying to reach the field. It is common for a missionary to be treated poorly or coldly when they call churches.  It is common to never have an opportunity to talk to a pastor, but to be shut down by the secretary.

I have felt the frustration as a pastor about missionaries.  My parents are missionaries now, and they tell me what it is like.  I also realize the feeling of having no funds to support new missionaries and having to be careful with funds even to be hospitable to those passing through.

All of us need to see the bigger picture of the heart of our Lord that commends all hospitality to those called to give his gospel.  Even if it is small, we need to do the small things that we can.


  1. This is the very reason that "Missions" as a whole MUST be reconsidered. Instead of supporting stateside "Missionary Headquarters" it would be much more economical (and Scriptural) to support a Missionary who is sent and commissioned directly from their stateside "Local Home Church". No overhead whatsoever, and the missionary receives 100% of the funds sent to him with no deductions from the "Missionary Headquarters" office (of which many times are facilities ranging in the millions of dollars even before utilities and "staff" are paid with the Missionary's ministry money).

    Concerning having to "take care" of Missionaries when they "pass through"; another avenue MUST be considered. To be good steward's of the Lord's blessings and resources there are numerous ways to have online meetings and reports from across the waters or even from the same town or state where the church is located. As a matter of fact, just last week we participated in a Missions meeting in the state of Georgia while sitting in our office in Eastern Europe. This can be done with minimal costs involved as well as helping the "Local Churches" and Pastors to not feel pressured to help finance airline tickets, motels, rental cars and meals in addition to a "love offering" for gas or needs for the missionary and his family.

    SOMETHING MUST BE DONE NOW!! So many seasoned and faithful Missionaries are being forced off of the field because of wasted and unwisely spent mission dollars which have been prayerfully sacrificed with tears and fasting yet misappropriated in their giving which causes the heartbeat of God to skip a beat everytime!

    Therefore; I earnestly and sincerely ask everyone, and especially Pastors, to strongly reconsider exactly where your Missions dollars are going and how they are being spent and used. Our twelve year old labor of love for souls in Romania has suffered greatly because of the Bible College "buddy system" and some of the "foolishness" being called missions in the states; I also know firsthand many others all around the world that are at a dead standstill the same as we are because of the misunderstanding of what is true, Scriptural Missions and Missionaries.

    I ask for your prayers and consideration on these matters with a broken and weeping heart. Thank you for allowing me to comment!

    Missionary Clayton Morris
    Codlea, Romania (Eastern Europe)
    Phil. 4:13 <"///><

    1. I appreciate your heart Clayton and have read your thoughts closely. I would ask the following:
      1. How do you monitor accountability if you eliminate the Mission Boards?
      2. If you eliminate Mission Boards, how are Missionaries promoted other than cold calling?
      3. You loath the Bible college "buddy system", yet we see in scriptures Godly leaders referring missionary travelers to other churches - what is the difference?

      I agree that changes need to be made, but have not seen any new legitimate way to consider missionaries yet.

  2. Friend, I will do my best to honestly and humbly answer your questions but please know that I am not wanting to debate or argue which will not bring any real results, answers and certainly no glory to God.

    1. "Accountability" ~ This is never the responsibility of a Mission Board. The Missionary is accountable to God first, then the Pastor of his home/sending/commissioning Local church, followed by open communication with those who faithfully assist his ministry being performed for the glory of the Lord. "Mission Boards" have absolutely no Scriptural Authourity to be above the Missionary's Local Church Pastor; in fact, I find no example in the Bible which point or hint at "Mission Boards" existing at all. The Word of God teaches us that Christ is the head of the church, the Pastor is the undershepherd of the Local Church and the members of that particular Local Church assembly are under the watch care of their Local Church Pastor. I sincerely ask you where "Mission Boards" (para-church organizations) fit into the perfect plan of God?

    2. Fourteen years ago GOD called me to be a Scriptural Missionary to the country of Romania. I had no ministerial "connections"; no "promotions" by a Big Name Mission Board or any such like fraternal links. My testimony and reputation as a Christian is what God used to "promote" my calling (if that is your preferred choice of words). I choose rather to attribute being accepted by Pastors, churches and individuals I had never met or heard of to God's miraculous hand of mercy and grace because of fervent prayer and fasting and constantly seeking His face on every move or call made. 1 Thes. 5:17 is written for our good and it works very well if put into practice. God blesses obedience and faithfulness.

    3. I will reply to this question in the most polite way that the Lord allows as I speak from a voice of experience and not here-say. It is a fact that Bible colleges have "strongholds" on certain Local Churches simply because "one of their men" is holding the position of pastor. If you didn't graduate from "____________" (such and such Bible college) you have NO CHANCE of ever being considered to share anything with the church they are running. The same would go for certain "Mission Boards"; if you don't wear their seal on your ministry/missions display you can just go on down the road and keep your prayer cards and burden in your back pocket or the trunk of your car in the churches where they have the say and control of the missions coffer.

    I saw in your article that you mentioned your parents were/are Missionaries. If they will be perfectly honest with you they can tell you that what I just mentioned is an absolute truth even if many churches refuse to acknowledge such.

    In closing, I must disagree with your observation where you stated that "... you have not seen any new legitimate way to consider missionaries yet." You said you read my thoughts closely from my first comment; but it honestly appears that maybe a more attentive rereading and review of them would be in order for you to discern what I intended to convey. There were more than a few Scriptural suggestions I included which are "new" legitimate ways to help all Local Churches economize their missions budget. In fact, they are not "new" at all since they reflect the plan of God for sending and preaching the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth!

    Again, I appreciate your questions and allowing me the opportunity to answer with honesty and integrity according to God's instructions. I am certain of my responses and can meet them with joy and no regrets at the "Judgment Seat Of Christ".

    Missionary Clayton Morris
    Codlea, Romania (Eastern Europe)
    Phil. 4:13 <"///><