Rawlings School of Divinity
Master of Arts in Religion (MAR)
Fred H Smith
Local Church, Missiology, Mission Agency, Missions
Ethics in Religion | Missions and World Christianity | Practical Theology | Religion
Hall, Donald, "Evaluating Missionary-Care Responsibilities: A Guide for Sending and Supporting Churches" (2017). Masters Theses. 515.
A thoughtful approach to global missions requires a team of support personnel. This team, composed of the sending church, the supporting churches, the missions agency and other supporters, is effective when it works together to recruit, train, and maintain a healthy missionary workforce, but a sub-standard support structure jeopardizes the mission. Sadly, many sending churches do not properly understand or fulfill their missionary-care roles and responsibilities. This project provides a biblical, philosophical, and practical methodology by which churches can properly evaluate their responsibilities and address gaps in their missionary-care ministry. In the model presented in this paper, the sending church functions as the lead entity. This thesis is divided into five sections: (1) a survey and synthesis of scholarly missionary-care literature; (2) the results and analysis of a survey and interview of local church missions leadership; (3) an extensive list of missionary-care responsibilities; (4) a proposal for a sending church-led team model; and (5) instruments to facilitate the sending church’s understanding and evaluation of its roles and responsibilities. The analysis of the research portion of this paper indicates that some churches have a smaller sending and supporting capacity than is reflected in their practice. Because the current agency-led missionary-care model is so deeply ingrained in the psyche of the missionary-care team, however, a thorough evaluation, especially one that appears almost certain to recommend significant changes, is strongly resisted. This project’s missionary-care task lists and tables can assist the church in deciding the missionary-care tasks for which it is responsible and determining the number of missionaries, supporting churches, and agencies for which it can faithfully fulfill those tasks. To the extent that the principles of a local church-led approach to fulfilling the Great Commission are biblical, they demand a recalibration of any other model.