“What Can I Ask God to Supply for Your Staffing Needs?” — Questions You Can Ask a Missionary, Part 6
Our friends (and fellow missionaries) Keith and Lori Doster recently linked to an article about stressors that missionaries face. The original article is called 12 Questions You Can Ask a Missionary to Help Them Stay on the Field. Missionaries are not unique to these stressors; however, they do face them in situations where they often feel vulnerable and lonely.
If you know any missionaries, I encourage you to support and encourage them by asking one or more of these questions (but not all 12 at once!). For the sake of our friends, supports, and blog-readers, I wanted to proactively answer these questions over the next few months. (Of course, feel free to ask us these questions personally.)
Question 6: “What specifically can I ask God to supply for your staffing needs?”
Soon after I started working in Allendale, God gave me a deeper understanding of Matthew 9:37:
“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”
I’m usually one who (relying on all my skills and know-how) wants to come into a situation and solve all the problems. Quickly, I learned that this was not going to happen in Allendale (just like it has never happened at any point in my life).
God helped me see that His kingdom work is abundant and is far beyond my personal story. On the same token, our work is an integral part of what He is doing.
My Staff, Our Team
Technically, I do not have any staff, at least not officially, and certainly not paid staff.
However, with all the camps and programs that we have led, we surely have not gone at it alone. For example, our Elevate Spring Break camps involved many local and out-of-town volunteers.
And one of my favorite parts of the after school program (this past January through May) were volunteers that we had, representing four different local churches.
But no matter what we’ve done and who we have worked alongside, I have never felt like it was “my staff.” It always feels like “our team.”
There are some folks who have provided behind-the-scenes support for us, especially with finances and taxes. Since most of our income is through financial support (and most of that comes through people at Grace Church), there are complicated tax implications. Complicated to me, at least.
I’m thankful for a team that helps me handle all of that. I spend a few hours each month totaling up receipts and tracking expenditures. Once I send the receipts and report, this team double-checks my math (I mess up more than I would have expected), keeps up with the receipts and donations, sends me reports, makes sure I’m not doing anything illegal, and does my taxes.
Pfew. Without these accounting experts, I would have had another 80-100 hours of work each year, that would feel like 200-300 hours.
There have been countless other ways that people have served us (worked for us, if you will). Babysitting, planning for future events and connecting opportunities, expanding on our ministry opportunities, writing or editing blog posts, hosting us or others from Allendale. Though I didn’t mention you specifically here, you know who you are, and we are thankful for your support.
And there is more work to be done; God’s harvest is plentiful, as you know. Next week, I’ll share some ways that you can be praying for us regarding ministry needs.
- “In What Ways Do You Feel Like You’re in Over Your Head?” (Missionary Questions, Part 7)
**images courtesy of Colin_K via fotopedia