#16 in a series devoted to sending churches.  The content of this post is adapted from BMW’s 6-hour apoLuo workshop. Numbered articles are intended to be read sequentially for maximum benefit.

“Ooo—there’s a church. I wonder if they’ll support us. And check out the parking lot—Audi, Lexus, Hummer, Jag, Escalade, Land Rover. Wow—there’s even an S Class Benz in the back. Quick! Get the number from the marquee!”

This scenario depicts what we call, “Drive-by Deputation.” While humourous, it is not far removed from what pastors and congregations—and mission administrators—perceive some missionaries’ support raising methods to be.

Allow me to use an analogy that’s as incongruous as possible just so you’ll remember it.

Let’s view missionary support as a weapon, and deputation as a gun show. There are several choices one can make in order to “get the job done”.

  1. Rocket-Propelled Grenade. This weapon produces the maximum effect with the minimum effort. Just aim it in the general direction of the target and pull the trigger. A dear Iraqi friend recently told me, “When things settle down in Iraq, I want to take you there and show you my country. And I’ll take you hunting. Over there, you don’t need a license and you can use any weapon you like. Even an RPG. Just think—we could hunt and barbecue at the same time!”  You get the picture.
  2. Shotgun. Somewhat more subtle than the RPG, this weapon scatters pellets over a wide swath. Aim is important—especially for birds on the wing—but not as much as with other weapons.
  3. Pistol. Though deadly accurate at short quarters, the pistol isn’t appropriate for long-range shooting.
  4. Rifle. A rifle is accurate over a long distance and has plenty of power. Though requiring more effort than a pistol to sight in and transport, for long-range and effective shooting, the rifle is your weapon.
  5. Sniper rifle. This is the weapon we are issuing to all BMW appointees. It packs a wallop at long range and can be calibrated for pinpoint accuracy on distant targets. It requires skill, training, and a steady hand. It is designed to address two specific issues: intent and precision.

If you have any experience with missionaries raising support—those sent by your own church or by other churches—I don’t have to explain any further. You understand the analogy. If you don’t understand it, I suggest you go back and start reading, beginning at the first post. By the time you get back here you’ll understand completely.

Oh—one other thing to remember. Neither you nor your congregation is the target. Satan is the target. Think of the support of missionaries—yours and others—as an effective weapon against him and his minions:

“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have the divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…” (2 COR 10.3-5)

I guess the analogy isn’t so incongruous after all.

Rob Heijermans, Biblical Ministries Worldwide