…or maybe you’re like me and those are the first things you think about. Early Christians like Paul didn’t have to worry about those things (though they did have a recurring problem with angry mobs and rocks), but visas, insurance, and screenings are realities today. And that’s where a missions agency really comes in handy.
As a former missionary and now the director of ABWE’s mobilization team, I’ve seen missions from the field and from the home office, and I’m often asked why someone should go with a missions agency. The way I see it, there are five key benefits that sum up why I wouldn’t have gone to the field without one:
- Financial Peace of Mind – A missions agency ensures that all contributions are processed, receipted as charitable donations, and deposited into your missionary account. Along with internal accountability, ABWE’s stamp of approval from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) provides financial credibility as missionaries raise support.
- Thinking Ahead – They have staff dedicated to benefits like insurance, retirement, and emergency evacuation. You probably aren’t thinking about something like retirement when you’re busting at the seams to get to the mission field, but the good news is that your agency is thinking about it for you.
- Equipping You – An agency provides you with critical training and coaching to prepare you for a successful cross-cultural ministry. Courses in Bible and theology, cultural preparation and more are all available from ABWE’s training team to ensure that all of our missionaries are well prepared for the task God has set before them.
- You’re Not Alone – They say if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together. A missions agency offers missions thinking and strategy on a global level, and they also provide on-the-ground field teams who add support, encouragement, and strategy to each missionary’s ministry.
- Expanding Your Reach – When you get to the field, you will realize there is more to be done than you or your team can accomplish alone. ABWE’s mobilization and communications teams are able to reach beyond your own social network and put your ministry needs in front of more churches, donors, and future teammates.
A missions agency is there to take care of the less glamorous — but entirely necessary — details of infrastructure and support so that the modern missionary can get to the field and do what God called them there to do: be a missionary.