Being a missionary is a noble and important job. Since I am attending a missionary training school we have been talking about funding for missionaries lately. I wrote this post to explain how missionaries get paid.
Can you get paid to be a missionary? Yes, missionaries get paid through donors or supporters through fundraising, churches, sending agencies, and/or by a career. This income is used to support the missionary’s simple living and work in ministry.
4 Ways Missionaries Get Paid:
Now I am going to outline four ways missionaries get paid.
1. Getting Paid Through Self Fundraising
Self fundraising is when a missionary usually creates a support system back home that partners with them through financial gifts, prayers, and encouragement.
Self fundraising takes a lot of work, however, which forces the missionary to take time out of their ministry work to focus on contacting friends, family, and partners in order to sustain their lives as missionaries.
If you’re looking to self fundraise, it usually looks like sending out newsletters to supporters, checking up with them with regular phone calls, and sending them pictures and prayer requests so that you can make sure they are staying involved and engaged with the work you’re doing.
This could be a great opportunity to bridge the gap between your world and theirs, and show them what living life on mission is like with God.
2. Getting Commissioned By Your Church
Another major way missionaries, especially from the United States, raise funds for going overseas is by partnering with their local church.
With this method, the sustainability of your income depends on the size and demographic of your church.
No matter what the details are, however, most churches love to support missionaries and commission them for the work God is calling them to.
I remember from personal experience fundraising for a mission trip going to my church to ask for support. I wasn’t expecting much help, but was blown away when one of the pastors asked me “How much do you need?”
The leadership in my church were willing to help me get to where I needed to be and look for ways to earn funding from the church body.
My fear of not receiving what I needed was met with a generous and willing church who also wanted to follow God’s call to take the gospel all over the world.
If you’re a missionary hoping to partner with your church, know that God is also calling your church to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Because of this, you can ask them for help.
Ask them for their support and prayers, and be blown away by the willingness of God’s people to be with you and for you.
Even if you don’t receive the amount needed, God will still provide for you and guide you on His path of righteousness for your good, other’s freedom, and His glory.
3. Getting Paid By Sending Agencies
Sending agencies are mission companies that help fund missionaries through their already established donor base and partner businesses.
When partnering with a sending agency, missionaries usually go through an interview-like phase where the agency makes sure that the missionary’s mission and vision line up with theirs.
From there, they determine how well they would do connecting with them over time and establishing connections with their other partners.
Depending on the sending agency, different agencies provide a range of types of support. Not only do missionaries get the funds they need for their ministry, but they also get the opportunity to network and work with other missionaries and organizations that have similar missions as them.
Another great strategy that these agencies have that helps missionaries is that they connect new missionaries with missionaries who have already been working overseas for some time, that way the younger workers can learn and gain wisdom from the missionaries who have had experience in their type of ministry.
This is incredibly beneficial since it reminds missionaries that they’re not alone, and this builds up encouragement for them during the hard times of ministry life.
Getting paid by sending agencies also means that missionaries will spend a fair amount of time working alongside the agency and creating newsletters with them.
These newsletters and resources can then be sent out to encourage donors, senders, and others who want to see how the kingdom of God is being impacted and how they can get more involved.
4. Getting Paid Through A Job Or Career In Ministry As A Missionary
Getting paid as a missionary is tough work any way you slice it, but when missionaries use their jobs and careers on the field for making a living as well as for spreading the gospel in places they otherwise couldn’t, it’s a win, win.
An example of what this would look like a doctor or nurse working in another country and using their job as a way to share the Gospel with others through the beautiful picture of bringing about spiritual healing as well as physical healing.
Another great way to earn a living as a missionary through a job is to create a business in another country that desperately need economic elevation.
This is tough work, but worth it to see lives transformed not only through creating jobs and raising living standards but also through modeling what Jesus would be like as a businessman and showing your employees and customers what it’s like to rely on Him.
This method of using careers in business as a way to reach the gospel is called Business as Mission and is an incredibly effective way to change the lives of people you work alongside.
Another opportunity is to teach English, or any subject, in another country and earn a living doing this. In this way, you could give people a better education as well as educate them about God’s word and point them to Jesus.
If you feel called to make a difference with the Gospel through education or business and make a living as a missionary, then you can click here to check out Bethany Global University, a school that trains future missionaries to take the church to where it is not all for the glory of God.
However a Missionary Gets Paid, God Will Provide
Looking through each of these funding options, there is, of course, no absolute formula for getting paid that missionaries have to follow, in fact, many missionaries compile any number of these types of earning a living at different times in their ministry.
Things change, especially when you’re a missionary, so there’s sure to be some changes in funding as well along the road.
No matter what the combination or strategy for getting paid as a missionary though, God knows what we need and promises to provide for us and take care of us, even if that means that things don’t always go as we planned.
Despite the hiccups and challenges that come with funding as a missionary, everything is outweighed by the many miracles God performs to provide for his children and help them show the love of Jesus to others.
Time and time again, missionaries have crazy stories of God providing for them in supernatural ways, like sending money from anonymous donors and through random people missionaries meet.
If you’re wanting to be a missionary and obey the call God has put on your life, know that this is a noble and important job, one that God will help provide for whether that’s through self fundraising, help from your church, a sending agency, or pursuing a career than helps you on your missionary journey. No matter what your strategy will be, God will be with you and for you.