Six Ways To Help A Cross-cultural Missionary

Pastor Rick White

#2. Providing Financial Support

“It has been a great joy to me that after all this time you have shown such interest in my welfare. I don’t mean that you had forgotten me, but up till now you have had no opportunity of expressing your concern. Nor do I mean that I have been in actual need, for I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances may be. I know how to live when things are difficult and I know how to live when things are prosperous.” Philippians 4:10-12 (Paraphrased by Neal Pirolo)

Neal Pirolo shares in Chapter four of his book, Serving As Senders, “Financial support is the most controversial, thus the most talked-about of the six areas of support. In fact, when you mention missionary support, most people think of nothing else but money.”

Through skillful advertising campaigns, we are made to feel guilty that we are not sending at least $15.00 per month to feed the starving children of the world. After all, we are a very prosperous country and we are a rich people, so why aren’t we doing (y)our part? “Prosperity is your divine right!”  Where do we turn for balance in financial responsibility?

So, how can we be wise about our giving to foreign missions or missionaries? Unfortunately, not all individuals and organizations vying for your support dollars are themselves wise stewards. There are three questions you must ask to check them on their accountability as you prayerfully consider giving to their cause:


  1. Is the money you give going for what they say it is? Will they use some of your funds to raise additional support and what percentage will be used for “overhead” expenses?
  2. Is the project or missionary service really hitting a decisive point of battle for souls? God wants us to be a part of ministries that yield “fruit that remains.”
  3. If your cross-cultural worker is going out through a US-based organization, what is the US administrative/field use ratio of the mission’s funds? That is, how much is spent in the States to get one dollar to the field? Is it under 20%, because it should be?

Pray about your financial involvement with a cross-cultural worker. When doing so, remember the admonition of God through Malachi 3:10 when we are commanded to “Bring the whole tithe into the store house…” We are to give to the local church by tithing (10%) first and then your gift to a cross-cultural missionary becomes your offering. As you continue to pray, pray that you will be obedient to the commands of Scripture as you consider providing financial support to a missionary or missions organization.

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