Some missionaries are very successful at finding supporting and sponsoring congregations, but probably most potential missionaries are lost to the mission field, giving up on their call because they do not approach congregations at the right time or in the best way. Maybe they do not have funds to spend time seeking help. Maybe they do not have the personal skills to raise funds.
Here are some suggestions to pass along to future missionaries:
1. Plan ahead. Devise a strategy that includes one's current qualifications, experience(s) to date, a purpose statement, a time line, a budget estimate, and a commitment goal.
2. Solicit help only during the months of July-September. Congregations having mission budgets frequently plan the following year's activity during October and November. They must be influenced and convinced prior to their budget time.
3. Expect to be put off a year. It takes time to become acquainted, placed in line for consideration, for a slot to open in an already filled budget, and for interest to jell.
4. Don't become discouraged. Congregational cultivation may take several years. Most active mission churches annually have dozens of requests to consider and limited amounts of funds to allocate.
5. Be willing to compromise. Where you want to go may not be where a church wants to support, but may have a work in which you can participate.
6. Support may not be obtained from one place, be willing to put together a package which includes partial support from several churches.
7. Do your homework: most active churches have web sites including their mission efforts. Some contain reports from the field where you can learn of returning missionaries. Most have a phone number where you can contact some member of the mission committee.
8. Phone calls to mission committees are better than unread solicitation letters. When interest is expressed, a follow-up letter will be welcomed, and more importantly, read.
9. Be willing to appear before the mission committee in person. If invited, be prepared with something to hand out and something to show in a relatively short time.
10. Express appreciation for the opportunity to share your plans, be patient in receiving a response from your presentation, and pray the Lord's will be done by you and them.
Then, there are two groups who regularly look for qualified missionaries to train and help:. http://www.greatcities.org/ http://www.mrnet.org/. I recommend seekers contact either to learn both about churches willing to support, and locations needing workers. Both use the team approach which appears to have the greatest success.
Granny White church,