Category - Missionary Life

1
Raising Up Healthy Missionary Kids
2
The Spirituality of Fundraising
3
The “D” Word in Missions
4
6 Lessons from a New Missionary
5
3 Ways Millennials See Missions Differently
6
Do Western Missionaries Damage Cultures?
7
The Greatest Enemy of Missionary Careers

Raising Up Healthy Missionary Kids

missionary kids
God often calls the entire family to service, and missionary kids play a vital role in their parents’ ministries. Photo by Robert Johnson/TEAM

We asked Josh McQuaid, TEAM’s Director of Organizational Engagement, to share about his experience growing up as a missionary kid (MK) in South America. Today, Josh discusses some tangible ways you can support and help raise up a generation of healthy and happy missionary kids. For missions-minded churches and savvy individual ministry partners, the notion of caring for your missionary will be nothing new. It may be second nature for you to pray, write encouraging notes, send care packages or even visit in person. But even if you’re doing all of this, you might be overlooking one of the most…

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The Spirituality of Fundraising

We can’t let myths and bad examples keep us from the truth: biblical stewardship is one of the most valuable discipleship tools in our Great Commission kit. Photo courtesy of TEAM

I travel quite a bit in my line of work. When you talk to strangers on an airplane, there are very few things that tend to shut people up faster than saying “I’m a pastor.” “I’m a fundraiser” is definitely one of those few. A fundraiser is right up there with used car salesman and lawyer when it comes to negative perceptions. What is it about fundraising that makes it such a cringe-worthy profession? I think it boils down to a couple of scary myths, and a few falsehoods, coupled with the damaging example of those who have abused the…

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The “D” Word in Missions

Tool or burden? Does student debt have a place on the mission field?
Photo by Robert Johnson / TEAM

Almost every missions mobilizer can tell this tale: They found the perfect would-be missionary, highly qualified and ready to ship all their belongings to the other side of the world, with one little problem. The candidate is drowning in debt. Debt is one of the biggest challenges of our time for North American missions and has been called “the greatest enemy other than Satan himself” to sending missionaries. This may be a slight overstatement, but there’s no doubt that personal debt is a huge obstacle for many young people who want to serve overseas (or domestically). Because missionaries tend to…

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6 Lessons from a New Missionary

From Chick-fil-a cravings to aching loneliness, a missionary's first months on the field are full of surprises. Photo by Robert Johnson / TEAM

It has been six months since my wife, Jenny, and I boarded a plane in Chicago and moved to Guatemala City. Our lives have changed dramatically since then. In the last year, we both stepped away from full-time jobs, liquidated everything we owned, and said good-bye to the place we called home for the seven years. We left behind the best friends we have ever made. And we did so while Jenny was six months pregnant. It’s been a wild ride. We’ve learned a lot of lessons in six months about missionary life. Here are some of them. And we…

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3 Ways Millennials See Missions Differently

milennial christian
Millennials are changing the missions landscape and taking on challenges in ways previous generations have not.

The highways of online media are strewn with attempts to explain millennials, my hard-to-pin-down generation that’s currently somewhere between the ages of 14 and 34 — and even that range is a little squishy. Churches, marketers and, yes, missions agencies, would love to know exactly what makes millennials tick. But most attempts to put us in a box fall short. Millennials — even millennial Christians — are not monolithic. They defy unifying definitions, aside from superficial observations (“Those millennials and their iPhones!”) that often apply as much to other generations as they do to 20-somethings. There is little doubt, however,…

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Do Western Missionaries Damage Cultures?

western-missionaries-southern-africa
Where culture doesn't contradict spiritual truth, western missionaries must take care to leave it unchanged. Photo by Robert Johnson / TEAM

Today, TEAM missionary Brett Miller shares about how missionaries impact cultures in good and bad ways — and how to avoid the latter. Recently, I went pheasant hunting with some friends of my Dad who were kind enough to include me in their circle. It was a special day and, as one of them pointed out, likely my last day of pheasant hunting. There are no pheasants in Swaziland, where my wife and I are going to serve as missionaries. One of the men I was hunting with made a perceptive comment. He told me that missions had done serious…

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The Greatest Enemy of Missionary Careers

missionary care Peru
Keeping the Peace: A TEAM worker in Peru laughs with local church members. Numbers show that resolving conflict with team members and national workers is essential for successful long-term missionary careers. Photo by Robert Johnson / TEAM

Here’s a little secret: Missionaries are ordinary people. And just like ordinary people, sometimes they have conflicts about ordinary things like misplaced dishes. These days, good missionary care teams keep an eye out for interpersonal conflict as the source of potential burnout. As it turns out, it’s not a new problem. Not by a long shot. TEAM writer Lisa Renninger was recently researching for a project on TEAM’s history and stumbled upon a story of narrowly avoided-missionary burnout set in Venezuela over a century ago. In 1906, two pioneering missionary families, the Bachs and the Christiansens, had established a new…

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