Missionary Care / Member Care
Develop a three-level tier of care for missionaries. The overall goal is to provide God’s love to missionaries and their families so that they can do God’s work with joy and thanksgiving in the field and at home.
Supporting churches, especially the sending church, should take up the primary responsibility of caring for the missionary and family before, during, and after their mission work. Individuals or a team(s) should be assigned to each missionary and family to help with moving to and getting settled on the field, ensure they feel loved and cared during their mission, help them with issues and struggles, and to take care of them during home assignment and return to the field.
The mission agency should develop a dedicated member care team (MCT) that has semi-professional training through education and experience to help missionaries and their families to deal with issues and struggles that are beyond the church's capability. Specifically, this group’s role includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Train and assist churches on what they should/can do to care for their missionaries.
- Meet with the missionary and family before the trip, during their home assignments, and final return from the mission field. If possible, the assigned MCT member may visit them on the field.
- The assigned MCT member should keep in close contact (using available communication tools) with the sending churches, the missionary/family, and field supervisor to understand how the missionary and family are doing on the field.
- Rise to support when issues and struggles have progressed to a point that the MCT member should step in to take a more active role. Work closely with all related parties to resolve the struggles.
- Help to determine when the missionary or family member should seek professional help or return home temporarily. With agreement from the missionary, assist the person(s) to connect with the appropriate professional. Continue to support missionary/family until the issue is resolved.
- Help to develop a network of resources to support missionaries with member care.
- Recruit, train, and develop new members for the MCT.
MCT should develop a network of professional clinics and individuals who can be called upon as needed to help resolve more critical issues.