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What is a Missionary?
November 8th, 2021  |  by

What do you picture when you think about a missionary? Most of us think of someone living in a far-off place, talking about God, and meeting the needs of their communities. But that is only one type of missionary. For that one person to live in that far-off place and do ministry, there is often a whole team of people supporting them in the background.

“Sometimes working in missions looks like this. It isn’t exciting. It doesn’t look like much. However, it is important. It is essential. It is what happens before the exciting. It is when lots of the listening to the Holy Spirit takes place. It is a where the details are worked out so that the exciting is exciting and not a total disaster. It is preparing. If you ever wondered what it looks like when I am not on a trip. It looks a little like this: with an open laptop, open ears and an open heart.” – CJ Noe


The Financial Missionary

To be able to do any type of ministry, you need money. And for many on-the-ground missionaries, money is the last thing they want to think about. However, some have gifts in money management and fundraising that use their talents for missions. These are the people that send those emails and make those phone calls asking for donations. They are the ones balancing the books and making the budgets so that ministry can continue happening. You might never see them in the field on your mission trip, but they are vital to mission work.

Staff meetings to make sure every field is updated and we are all spending time together.


The Recruiting Missionary

For missions to be effective and sustainable, a missionary needs to stay in their field of service as much as possible to invest in relationships and keep the ministry going. This means that there needs to be another person to be the voice of the ministry outside of the field. This person is who you talk to before going on a mission trip. They make church visits, go to conventions, and travel the country spreading the word of the ministry to get more support for their work. Without the recruiter, missionaries would have to leave the field to recruit or go without the extra help from mission trips. You will see this person on their travels and maybe in the field.

The Media Missionary

Who makes all those videos? Who takes all those pictures and posts them on social media? Not everyone thinks about documenting ministry moments or has the equipment to do it well. Some missionaries dedicate time to documenting ministry and sharing it with the world. Like the recruiting missionary, this person can travel around and promote the ministry, or they might be entirely in the background and share everything digitally. The media missionary is vital to the growth of a ministry.

Staff and Interns developing video resources for the Louisville field.


The Prayer Warrior

We all know the value of prayer and regular conversation with God. We also all know how difficult this can be when we are caught up in our day-to-day lives. Missionaries can get caught in the same cycles of distractions and can be too close to the situations to see the bigger picture. That is where the prayer warriors are most vital. They are the people who keep up with the ministry’s needs and regularly lift up those needs and praises to God. Prayer is an essential part of any ministry. We have seen firsthand the effect that a group of pray warriors has on even a single ministry goal.

And so many more…

More types of missionaries specialize in the type of ministry they support. Such as an architect who makes housing plans, a teacher who writes curriculum, or a cook who plans specialized meals. A missionary is not just the person you meet in the field. There are hundreds of missionaries sitting in office chairs working on their computers, and their role is vital to the ministry’s success.

What do you picture when you think about a missionary? A team of people with different talents work together to make their ministry as impactful as possible.

Want to support some amazing missionaries like those mentioned above? Get to know our home office staff!

Cooks after preparing a meal in our Mexico field.
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