“You can help carry the weight of logistics and administration for those who lack these gifts.”
There are many missionaries involved in church planting. mercy ministry, evangelism, etc, who struggle with the day-to-day logistics necessary to serve in ministry. These workers feel their gifting is working directly with people and feel burdened by the extra “weight” of necessary administrative tasks. I have personally heard many missionaries say that they WISH they had more administratively gifted people on their missionary teams.
Skills in organization, writing, finance, scheduling/logistics and strategic planning are very, very valuable skills to possess on the mission field.
In addition to the mission field needing administratively-gifted individuals, missionary mobilization bases (those that focus on training and sending new missionaries to the field) are always in need of administrative assistants, typically in a variety of areas (finance, member care, training, etc). Some of these administrative positions might even be partially or fully-salaried because of the great need for these individuals.
Do some research and inquire with some mission agencies you find interesting. I can almost guarantee you will find many, many opportunities!
Answer from Jennifer in Indonesia, who has served with YWAM and Pioneers in Australia, Indonesia, and Singapore for seven years.
“Yes, this absolutely is a need.”
To answer that question, I’d like to tell you how my journey to become a full-time missionary started. I was on a one-week short-term mission trip with my church having dinner with one of the full-time missionaries we were serving. He made a random comment, “I didn’t know how much administrative work was involved on the mission field.”
He had grown up on the mission field, gone to seminary, served as a pastor, and was serving as a full-time foreign missionary. His gifting is definitely pastoral and currently has a wonderful ministry mentor national pastors. However, at that time his organization needed administrative support and he was filling that role.
That small comment planted a seed that started growing because my gifting and skill is very much administrative. My occupation in the States was managerial and administrative. While I do preach and share the gospel as a passion my gifts center on administration. It was that comment I needed to see that my gifts were needed on the mission field. I have served as school administrator, clinic administrator, director of operations, and children’s home administrator, just to name of few of the missionary “hats” I have worn over the course of my missionary service.
Now, how to get those skills? Volunteer at your church. First and foremost, serve where you are. Your church has a host of administrative needs that go on behind the scenes Monday through Sunday. Go hug one of the church secretaries, thank them for the work that they do, and ask if you can help a couple hours a week to help them in their service to your church. You can take accounting classes, computer classes, business classes and more.
Answer from John, who has served in Dominican Republic and Haiti for 11 years.
Yes, administrative support for missionaries is very much needed. With the continual increase in the complexity of the IRS regulations on missions agencies and donations, the role of missionary clearinghouses is on the rise. People who work in such ministries need to have the ability to multi-tasking, to set priorities right, excellent sense of communication, and with today’s fast-changing world, an exceptional ability to use computer software and willingness to learn new things. Some organizations even require that the person knows how to handle social media interactions (posting and replying).
You can take a look at what we do as a missionary clearinghouse then reflect on what are the necessary gifts to join such ministry: