3 reasons missionaries go alone and 3 responses
By AfriGO Team
It is safer to go undercover.
Oumar (see article The joy of serving together) heard the clear call of God to reach Muslims, but did not want to draw attention to himself by associating with an organisation, so he went alone. Yet today, Oumar is fulfilling his original calling with a missions agency.
If God is calling you to a location that is fraught with perils, prayerfully seek an agency that has the experience and competence to send workers into high risk areas. There are many with the infrastructure to do this kind of placement safely, sustainably and successfully.
The financial requirements of an agency are too high.
Bella Were spent two years in the field alone before joining CAPRO in Kenya (One Nurse’s journey). She says, “The requirements of agencies can be high, especially financially. But agencies are getting more diverse; for example, there are missions that allow their people to do business as missions.” She urges new missionaries to ask an agency they are looking into, “What are your financial policies as well as beliefs or philosophy about raising support? How many diverse approaches to financial sustainability do you allow?”
Peter Macharia of Kenya is an ordained minister with Africa Inland Church Kenya and has also served under AICK Missions Department for 15 years. He writes: “Use a holistic approach … I have missionaries working to spread the gospel. One rears milk cows, which supports him in the field. Another sister has an Mpesa (mobile money transfer) shop, she gets very little money from the church, but the business has helped her network with many Muslim women. It is practical and fruitful” (AfriGO issue 5.3 p.8).
My church is strong enough to send me directly, because a mission is a middleman.
Even very large and well-resourced churches and church denominations are using missions sending agencies. The Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in Nigeria boasts millions of members and thousands of churches. But do their local pastors supervise mission endeavors? No. The Evangelical Missions Society (EMS) is the missions agency of ECWA, and it takes leadership in equipping and supervising several thousand mission workers in 18 countries.
Missions agencies are not formed because the church is inadequate. Rather, they are formed because the church is so strong, raising up godly men and women to send to the ends of the earth. When the church is effectively fulfilling its tasks locally, then the missions agency can fulfill its tasks cross-culturally.