Although WEC is very intentional about providing member care services for our workers, it’s important for you as a sending church to join us in this endeavor. We believe that “…no cross-cultural worker should leave home without a committed, strong, integrated, educated, knowledgeable, excited-as-he-is, active team of people who have committed themselves to the work of serving as senders.”¹ Together, our goal must be to keep our missionaries both productive on the field and healthy in every area.
We can help SPARE our workers unnecessary stress and hardship by attending to the five dimensions of member care: Spiritual, Physical, Actualization (achievement and professional development), Relational and Emotional/Psychological.² This model focuses on prevention—not only crisis intervention. Healthy missionaries are better prepared to handle crisis.
There are many ways you can contribute to the care of your workers. The most important way is to commit to faithful, focused prayer. Depending on the size of your church, it may be helpful to have small groups “adopt” missionaries, committing to intercessory prayer on their behalf. Learn more about ideas about how to pray for missionaries.
It’s also very important for your missionaries to receive regular, encouraging contact from members of your church. The letters, e-mails, phone calls and care packages they send will help to maintain a strong relationship with your workers. Be sure to ask them questions to keep apprised of their overall health. For ideas on how to keep in touch without breaching the security of your missionaries, see Catalyst Service’s free Postings e-newsletter on Handling Information Wisely.
“Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly – not for what you will get out of it but because you are eager to serve God. Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example” 1 Peter 5:2-3 NLT.
¹Neal Pirolo, Serving as Senders: How to Care for Your Missionaries While They are Preparing to Go, While They Are on the Field, When They Return Home
²Drs. Larry & Lois Dodds, founders and presidents of Heartstream Resources
It’s also vital to maintain contact with WEC, so that we can truly partner in providing member care. WEC Link serves as a catalyst between you and your missionary providing guidance on how to maintain a healthy working relationship.