How Does Missionary Support Work?
Have you ever wondered how missionaries support themselves and their families while they do their missions work? For some, a sending church or organization provides them with their full support ( rent, food, utilities, etc.). For others a few churches provide their full salary. But for most missionaries, their salary comes from the donations of friends, family, and churches. Most missionaries in this situation don't have any single church providing a large chunk of their support. Instead, their support might come from 1 to 5 different churches, and 20 or more individuals, each giving what God has put on their heart to give. These are the missionaries that Ergatas aims to help.
The process of raising support can be very rewarding in many cases. It is wonderful to see people commit to your ministry, and wonderful to see God provide month after month. But it can also be a very daunting task. It often takes a long time, and for many missionaries, is quite intimidating. Many people are uncomfortable talking about money or asking for financial support. Many have been turned away from even trying to become a missionary at the thought of raising support. Still others try, but after several years, still have not raised enough to live on. They often are forced to leave the field, or never even make it to the field.
Another challenge for new missionaries is that only a small percentage of Christians actually support a missionary directly. Many feel that tithing to their church is enough. But most churches do not provide missionaries with more than 10% of their monthly needs. Out of all the money given to the global church each year, only 0.36% goes towards global missions (thetravelingteam.org). All Christians have a calling to be part of the Great Commission, either by becoming a missionary, or by supporting a missionary (Matt 28:19-20).
The purpose behind Ergatas is first to help missionaries be able to raise their support more quickly, and to hopefully make it a little less intimidating. Secondly, to encourage every Christian to support a missionary.
The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Unfortunately, the number of workers who make it to the field and are able to stay there, are even fewer than the number who are called. This should not be! God is absolutely able to provide for every missionary He calls, but He chooses to use us to meet those needs. It is a great honor and joy to be used by God in this way. Let us do everything we can to help those whom God has called to get to their harvest field, where God can use us and them, in partnership, to reach the lost!