Monday, January 27, 2014

Part III: Analysis/Implementation (B)

In any business, and, since missions is part of the King’s business therefore requires the same amount of earnest attention as though it was for-profit venture, decisive decisions must be made.  It does no good to go through the process of analysis of missionary personnel or projects if you are not going to act on its findings.  The tough work of actually doing something with the teams findings is one of the great failings of the church.  The implementation of this lesson is crucial, so read carefully.

Determine who fits within your church’s focus and purpose.  It’s inevitable there will be some on the support list that is outside the purpose of your missions outreach.  It is important that the church supports only the people and projects which is clearly an interest.  So, unfortunately, this will mean discontinue the support of some people.  How is this done?

DO NOT DROP ANY MISSIONARY OR MISSIONS SUPPORT IMMEDIATELY.  You made a commitment to these people and projects, even if was twenty years ago, so honor that commitment until they are home in the states.  I believe it is unethical to discontinue support to a missionary if they have no means of raising of lost funds. 

Write a letter stating that because of shift in focus and purpose, your church will no longer be able to continue their support.  However, your church will continue their support until they return home and write them and ask specifically when they will be home.  Many missionaries do not take a year off these days for furlough, so even if they are home for a month or the summer, give them at least that amount of time to count on the support from your church.  If it is a project, rather than an individual (a orphanage in Peru), give that project a year before discontinuance.  There are some projects you may be able to discontinue immediately, such as the youth camp in New Mexico.  Be wise and compassionate in everything you do.

I have had my share of “donor attrition” and I can tell you that no matter how gracious you are in crafting your letter of discontinuance, it will be a blow to the missionary.  Raising support is difficult and not fun.  It’s hard not to take the dropping of support personally.  So, be prepared for all types of reaction.

Over a period of time funds for the projects and people you want to support will become available.  Begin to pray about the people and projects your church wants to partner with.  Make good decisions upfront and you won’t have to write letters of discontinuance in the future