For those who go to the uttermost parts, there is a need for a support team – a care group. For every member of the military who goes to the front line of battle, a minimum of nine back him up on the line of communication. Those who serve as senders are equally important. Their responsibilities are quite different from those who go, but they are equally vital. No, it is not selfish to be a part of “the rest of the team.” Imagine a baseball coach telling the right fielder, “Hey, you didn’t touch the ball the whole game. We don’t need you any more!” Of course not. Likewise, though the ones who go might be like a pitcher or a catcher who touches the ball every inning, the other members of the team are equally responsible to fulfill their particular role.
On the other hand, we see an interesting progression in Matthew 9-10. Jesus has called on his followers to “ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field” (9:38). A few verses later he seems to tell his followers, “OK, guys. You’re it. Get going!” It may be that as you have been faithful in providing financial and prayer support for your missionary friend, God will direct you to the front line yourself.
Answer from Neal Pirolo, director of Emmaus Road International, missionary trainer, and author of I Think God Wants Me to Be a Missionary and Serving As Senders.
I find that so many people think they are “not doing anything,” when, without their support, the “sent” could not be overseas where the need is so great.
Answer from David, who has served for eight years in Honduras and coordinates the medical aspects of several community development groups.
It’s okay to serve as a sender, but make sure it’s not just the lack of a feeling that leads you make this decision. Just something to think about.
Answer from Richard, a missions mobilizer, who has served for several years with The Mission Society.