What if we encouraged our pastors, supported our missionaries, and partnered with what God is already doing? What impact would we have?
I found a version of this list at The Gospel Coalition (https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/10-ways-to-encourage-a-missionary/) and thought it was so good. I have been on the receiving end of this kind of support and generosity so many times. I personally know just how special it can be. When people invest in my life, family, and ministry like one of these points below it is like fuel on my fire that keeps me going.
In honor of all of those who have partnered with the Rousehouse over the years I wanted to encourage you to pick one of these ideas and be intentionally generous today towards a friend, missionary, pastor, community worker, volunteer, or non-profit servant this week. They will be forever grateful!
1. Pray for them and let them know that you are doing so frequently.
We love to hear from people back in the US that say they are praying for us. It means a lot to know that you aren’t alone in this work. It can be as simple as a short text message but makes a world of a difference in my day.
Your pastor needs to know that you are praying for them! You have a responsibility to your church to support them in this way.
2. Send “real mail.”
Send a note or a card encouraging them.
If they are overseas spend the extra money on postage and ship them a care package. I have seen how special it is to get a package of goodies. It means a lot! Especially around the holidays.
3. Pray for the people the missionaries/church serve and not only for the missionaries/pastors and their families.
We partner together to see the victory…Prayer is the key!
Pray for your community or city as well! God is counting on you and your pastor can’t shoulder this mission alone.
4. Recruit others to pray for the missionary’s area of service (city, people group, etc.) or for the missionaries themselves.
When people you have never meet commit to join you in prayer or serve with you in some way you are reminded that this is much bigger than me. God is doing His thing and blessing me in the midst.
You could help connect your church, help by mailing newsletters, collecting supplies they may need, or host a fundraiser.
Ask your church, how can I volunteer? Their jaw will likely hit the floor.
5. Go visit them with the purpose of serving and encouraging them in their work.
We love visitors! They bring goodies, encourage us, they get to see our day to day lives, they remind us that people back home still care a lot about us, and make us laugh and feel normal again. It’s so great to have your people really know what your work and ministry is like so they can know better how to pray for you and help you along the way.
6. Send them updates and pictures of you and your family (by mail or email).
Christmas cards are our favorites! We also really enjoy when we get updates on how families are doing, life is changing, and special events that are happening. These things help us stay connected in a real way.
7. Ask questions about their work.
Ask not only how we are doing (we do like when people really care how we are doing), but ask about our work and try to learn all you can about the people or city where we are serving.
I know that this has been said, but truly CARING about the work is the best way to encourage us. It means a lot!
8. Continue to be a Christian friend and continue to minister to them.
“Having friends that know me, are patient with me, and expect me to be the same struggling sinner I was when I left helps me stay humble when tempted toward arrogance, and hopeful when tempted toward despair.” – Mark Rogers, The Gospel Coalition
We are regularly caring for people therefore we need people to care for us in the same manner. People in ministry type work struggle the same as anyone else. We need positive and real investments from others as well.
I am grateful for 3 guys that regularly check in with me and meet me at a heart level. They are the secret to me not giving up!
Your pastor needs friends too. Invite them to parties, hang out and ask nothing of them, find out some of their interest and have fun with them. Treat them like normal people and they will love it.
9. Support them financially.
Find out what specific needs they might have and meet those needs. Find out if they need any regular monthly financial support and start giving…with a grateful heart.
I love when people buy our kids clothes, send money for us to go out to dinner or a long weekend way, or simply ask what we need. It is equally if not more exciting to see a new monthly gift come in that was unexpected.
For your pastor, send him $50 to take his wife out on a date. Pay for a weekend away for his family. Take him to play golf. Send him a gift card. Do something out of the ordinary and surprise your pastor. You have NO idea how much that will mean to him!
10. Seek to encourage them when they are on stateside assignment or a pastor on leave.
Take them out to dinner, give them a place to stay or a car to drive for the week, take them to eat Mexican food (nothing says I love you like tacos!), fill there car up with gas, invite them to speak at your church or small group, give a gift card to Target, help them stock up on things they need to take back with them, ask them how you might could bless them while they are there with you. This will feel like life to there bones and breath in their lungs!
Send your pastor on a vacation. Share your cabin in the mountains. Take them to a nice dinner. Do something special for your pastors wife or children. Care for them well and regularly. They need it!
The impact you will have by whole heartedly seeking ways to serve those who God has placed in your life will be unbelievable. You may never know how much it means to the friend, missionary, pastor, community worker, volunteer, or non-profit servant but trust me it is will bless them so much! Your act of intentional generosity may be the thing they need to keep working towards God’s call on their life.
Thank you for choosing intentional generosity!