Caring for a Global Community

Man being interviewed.
Steve Maybee and his Member Care team support global workers through all the ups and downs of missional life.

This month we finish up our series on TEAM’s Defining Values by focusing on “Caring Community.” TEAM’s Member Care department exists to foster caring community within TEAM by providing emotional and spiritual support to global workers and staff. Caroline Peterson sat down with Director of Member Care, Steve Maybee to discuss the purpose and heart behind Member Care.  


Called to Care and Support 

Steve Maybee got into Member Care after getting his master’s in clinical psychology. He and his wife served overseas in Eastern Europe, and it was there that he saw the needs of expatriates (people living outside of their native country) and of the missionary community in general. Steve realized how important it was for people to connect with someone who understands the challenges. When Steve came back to the States, he took a job with Alongside as a full-time counselor for missionaries and pastors. He served there for 20 years before joining TEAM as the Director of Member Care. 

“Transitioning to this role in TEAM was a great blessing for me,” says Steve. “I was excited to be able to move into more proactive care for missionaries. I eagerly looked forward to helping create a system in which cross-cultural workers are cared for and supported in ways that help them to be all that God has for them to be.” 

A Community of Care 

Member Care is important because of the unique stresses of cross-cultural work. Having someone who has served overseas and faced similar fears and pressures can help workers not to feel so isolated. Also, the Enemy wants nothing more than to destroy the work of the global Church, so that can’t be underestimated.  

Despite the benefits, it is not uncommon for workers to be uncertain at first. “Some people can view Member Care as ready to pounce when people aren’t functioning at 100% and to send them home for counseling,” says Steve. “While we do recommend stepping away from ministry to focus on counseling in some circumstances, we really want to provide support as close to their area of ministry and with as little disruption to life as possible.” 

Steve is blessed to be able to draw on his own experiences. “When my wife and I were serving on the field, we were required to return to the States for counseling,” Steve recalls. “We weren’t happy about it, but we did it. It turned out to be a wonderful, healing experience allowing us to return to the field with a stronger sense of who God made us to be and what He had given us to do.” 

Steve says that the challenges he faced have allowed him to walk alongside others with increased understanding and compassion. “I can appreciate the angst that they feel and the sense of responsibility to their ministry as well as the shame that arises if they think they’re being told that they aren’t good enough,” he says. “I hope to communicate that it’s precisely because you have so much to offer that we want to see you grow so that the burdens you are carrying don’t weigh you down so much.”


Member Care group photo.

TEAM’s Member Care team helps global workers and staff safely share with one another and find comfort, support, and encouragement as we journey together as a caring community.


A Safe Space for Workers and their Families 

To be successful on the mission field, Steve stresses the importance of resilience and self-awareness, along with adequate relational support. Member Care plays a role in each of these by showing compassionate care, understanding, and patience as they come alongside global workers. Member Care creates a safe space for workers to process issues and talk about what’s going on with someone who understands but is outside their immediate context. 

Another challenge for global workers is raising children on the mission field. One of the primary reasons families leave the field earlier than they originally intended is due to the struggles that “TCK’s” (third-culture kids) have. 

“As parents, our primary calling is to our family, and the apostle Paul has told us that the one who fails to care for his family is worse than an unbeliever,” Steve shares. “That is a strong indictment! We want to see the children thriving even as we want to see the adults thriving.” 

TEAM’s TCK Coordinator, Valerie Williams and her team of helpers are committed to finding resources for whatever needs may arise in the children’s lives. That may be an educational need, an emotional need, or a spiritual one. Valerie tries to stay connected with each child so that they are aware of additional caring adults that they can reach out to for support and so that their parents have someone to help them in the challenging responsibility of raising children in another culture. 

The Heart of the Issue 

Steve shares that the goal of Member Care is to truly live out John 13:35: “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples: if you have love for one another.” This is the heart of TEAM’s value of Caring Community. TEAM is blessed to be able to offer an extensive, equipped, and available Member Care team that is rare in the world of cross-cultural missions. Few organizations have ready access to a compassionate listening ear, informed assessment of challenges, and help in determining the best course forward.  

Not only is this type of support a benefit to global workers, but it’s also a benefit to a watching world. “As we each take advantage of opportunities for our own personal growth, we model for the world what it truly means to love one another,” says Steve. “The world is desperate to see the Gospel truly at work in the Body of Christ. If they can see us sacrificially and joyfully loving one another, being real with one another, and serving one another and those around us, they will be much more inclined to believe the Gospel message. We in Member Care want to help facilitate that and create a safe place for each of us to be all that God has designed for us to be, individually and as a group.” 


Member Care provides individualized support to each missionary.



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About the author

Caroline Peterson

Caroline Peterson joined TEAM in November of 2016. She is the administrative assistant to the Member Care Department and loves serving our missionaries behind the scenes.

Caroline lives in the western suburbs of Ilinois with her husband, Jeremy, and two daughters. In her spare time, she likes to garden, go for walks, bike rides and spend time with her family.


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  • Great interview with Steve! He has faithfully and effectively led the member care ministry of TEAM for many years, and it is good to see that he is still “in the saddle.” Many blessings on Steve and his team as they continue to serve the missionary family, and in doing so expand the Kingdom of God around the world.

    Caroline, you did a really great job in interviewing Steve and then in writing up what he said. Well done!

  • Great Blog! I often tell people that one of TEAM’s key strengths is Member Care. Over and over, Member Care has come to the rescue of missionaries ready to give up. Thanks!

    • So true, Martin! We are so grateful for our Member Care team and how they love and serve so well!

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