Missionary Funding Problems

Is anyone else noticing that missionaries overseas are having more and more problems with funding?

As a Sailor, I've had the sincere honor of meeting numerous missionaries in far away places like Sapporo (Japan), Kagoshima (Japan), Pattaya (Thailand), and even here at home in the US. So far, all but one of my missionary contacts are reporting that they are behind the curve in funding. The only family I know that is doing perfectly well just reported to the field last year and is still fresh on their supporters' minds.

One missionary I know supplements his meager donations by performing weddings. I guess you could call it "Business as Missions" but not really. Another reports that he's unable to do things to earn money because of the type of visa he has for that country. He truly has to rely on donated help, and churches are dropping away left and right.

I have two questions for you, dear reader.

1.  Where is it in the Bible that I have to give my tithe, or even the bulk of my tithe, to my local church? I don't see it anywhere in the Bible.

2.  Isn't this an indication that the missionary strategy has to change? I'm thinking more along the lines as Business as Missions and I have ideas I would like to propose, but we'll see where the conversation goes.

We military folks have some interesting insight into missions, especially those who have been active as missionaries ourselves. Maybe it's time we start putting our money where our mouths are.

5 comments:

boilt frog said...

Propose your ideas. It will spur conversation.

There is no tithe-to-the-church text. However, the pattern in 2Cor. 8-9 would suggest giving through the church for a specific purpose.

Addition light may be gleaned from 1Cor. 9.

I think traditional missions funding will have to be rethought. The economy is going to force some of this. We will be getting some serious inflation once the banks begin to lend the money the Fed. created. (What is the biblical perspective on this?) This will wreck havoc with ministry finances.

We may end up with a tent-making approach. If so, praise God. If not, praise God anyway.

Somewhere is my computer is North's book on tithing. I guess it is time to read it. Thanks for the kick, Chief!

Best blessings.

BF

Stephanie said...

This is where the Cooperative Program comes into play. SBC missionaries don't have to worry about their supporters dropping out over time.

boilt frog said...

I found my copy. The title is Tithing and the Church.

Here is the link: http://www.garynorth.com/freebooks/docs/21a6_47e.htm

Dan Smith said...

BF,
I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees little actual scriptural reference for it.

My actual ideas are as follows:
1. Move to a Business As Missions (BAM) format, or tentmaking as it were.

2. Or, go social marketing with missions like my fundraising efforts for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, wherein you do a series of efforts through your social networks.

Thoughts?

Dan Smith said...

Stephanie,
Don't you think that even the IMB will dry up at some point?