If our churches are going to be missions churches in more ways than just sending money, the church family needs to be involved. If a church has a missions heart, they will pray for God to send missionaries; and as God answers, people will surrender to take the Gospel to those who have never heard. As the Lord adds missionaries sent from our churches, more than just a few people need to be involved in caring for those missionaries. There should be those who pray for them, communicate with them and help care for their needs. They need care before they leave, as they serve on the field, and when they return. This can all be accomplished through your church having Missionary Sent Teams.

These teams allow people to put feet to their prayers for the sent missionary. Sent Teams enable many people to be involved in the missions ministry of your church. In turn, they help foster a greater focus on missions in the church. Sent teams allow people to get involved personally by getting to know the missionary and sharing their vision for worldwide missions. Sent Teams help fulfill its obligation to the missionary. It is the church who sends the missionary and is responsible for their support.

To be most effective, each sent missionary family should have their own Sent Team.  This is a group of people who meet on a quarterly basis and work together to pray for and seek to help with the specific needs of their missionary. They also learn about and discuss the ongoing ministry of their missionaries and their prayer needs. They pray for the unreached people groups, health and well-being of the missionary, fruit from their labors, safety, physical needs, and such as should be requested.

They should maintain communication among themselves and with the missionary concerning prayer requests, personal and return needs.

For example, when a missionary family returns from the field, their Sent Team will meet them at the airport and will help in advance to see that their needs are taken care of (e.g. as providing a meal for them and their local family or putting groceries in their cupboard). By doing these kinds of things, the Sent Team will keep the needs of the missionary before the church family and provide a greater level of emotional support and prayer for them.

Missionaries face many transitions in their lives, such as new places, new people, new culture changes, language issues, government paperwork issues. They need to know that we are praying for them throughout all of this.

Sent Teams provide missionaries with a direct contact for things that need to be handled through the church. Their main goal is to communicate with the missionaries, meet the requested needs and work together to help accomplish the Great Commission.

It is important for the Sent Team and the missionary to understand that the Sent Team is not to involve itself in the missionary’s finances or financial needs. All such needs should be addressed to the church leadership by the missionary.

The Sent Team could, however, be involved in providing “care” support for the missionary. This includes sending birthday, anniversary, and holiday cards as well as general notes of encouragement. Guidelines shared with the team members provide insight and direction to help with “care packages” that could be sent to the missionaries on special occasions.

Prayer. Care. Encouragement. These are the guiding principles of the ministry of Sent Teams. Our desire for Sent Teams at our church is that we take this ministry to our sent missionaries to the next level. Our missionaries need the ministry a Sent Team.  Those who are actively holding the ropes of support at home as we send out missionaries to the uttermost.

To request additional information and resources to introduce Sent Teams to your church, email Emma DaShiell at emma@mycsbc.com.