Three Financial Warnings for Missionaries

  1. Resist the overwhelming urge to think that money will make a church plant successful. As Americans, we think that to have a church means money to rent a building, advertise, pay the pastor, and have transportation. Do not give in to that thinking because it is not found in the NT, and it pulls our hope away from the Holy Spirit as well as the cross.
  1. Make sure the new believers feel the weight of their own responsibility. Every situation is different, but if you are working in a context, where people have few jobs and in general do not provide well for themselves, then what will handouts likely do? In some cultures, their own sin has already robbed them of all but the most basic responsibility. Western money in that place would attract false converts and rice Christians.
  1. If the people know that you have money, and if they know that you can turn it on when you want, then they will tend to view you not as a Christian brother or spiritual father, but rather as a typical white—their potential ticket to some earthly pleasure if they can only manipulate the circumstance.

Here are some articles on this topic: When hurting helps (a review of the book When Helping Hurts).

And if you are new to this thinking, then run—don’t walk—to read Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or Ours?.

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2 Responses to Three Financial Warnings for Missionaries

  1. Abraham says:

    Dear Seth, greetings I’m trying to forward you an e-mail, but somehow haven’t got your address.

    Much blessings

    Abraham

  2. Seth Meyers says:

    My address is in the About page.

    sethmeyersATodbm.org.

    I’d be glad to hear from you.

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