6 Tips for Communicating with Missionaries
Communication is a vital part of the missionary/donor relationship. Both churches and individuals who financially support missionaries expect regular communication from them.
Communication is not only necessary; it is beneficial to both parties. The donor stays up to date with the ministry that is supported, and the missionary reaps more interest in and prayer support of his/her ministry.
However, there is a dynamic in this process that is often overlooked and that is the importance of donor-to-missionary communication.
The following are key suggestions to consider regarding donor-to-missionary communication:
- Change in Leadership: Church donors should keep the missionary informed of changes in pastoral leadership (including a missions’ pastor or head of a missions’ committee).
- Change in Support: Donors should inform the missionary of a change in the support level.
- If the amount is increased or a special gift is sent, that information should be conveyed so that the missionary is aware of it and can express gratitude.
- If the support amount is diminished, the missionary needs to be aware so that adjustments can be made in one’s personal and ministry budget.
- Change in Address: Donors should inform the missionary if there is an email or physical address change.
- Church staff or the one in charge of correspondence may change. If a missionary newsletter is sent to the wrong address, a breakdown in communication may occur.
- Church donors should inform the missionary to whom email correspondence should be sent.
- Prayer Requests: Donors may inform the missionary of their needs thus enabling the missionary to pray more effectively for the donor.
- Recognize Special Days: Donors can be proactive in their communication with their missionary partners by sending greetings on birthdays, anniversaries, or other important events in the life of the missionary.
- This will require extra work as one must keep a database of missionary information, but this type of communication is a great blessing and encouragement to the missionary.
- Frequency of communication: Most donors expect a newsletter from the missionary every two months. Donor-to-missionary communication need not be so frequent but often enough so that the missionary feels that he is connected with the church or individual donor.
Communication is facilitated by and made more effective through technology (emails, blogs, websites, social media). The proper use of these communication methods will help strengthen the relationship between donors and missionaries.