Finacial Stability For Longevity on a Cross Cultural, Remote Mission. By Kevin E. Jesmer 6-17-15.

Finacial Stability For Longevity on a Cross Cultural, Remote Mission

By Kevin E. Jesmer                                                                                               6-17-15

2Corinthians9.8 generous giving

2 Corinthians 9:10-12,  He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.11  You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.” (ESV)

     Financial stability is needed for missionaries to remain for the long haul on a remote, cross cultural mission field. It is not easy to live in remote places, especially if the missionaries are not familiar with ways to survive. Yes, there are ways for the missionaries to live in primitive housing and catching wild game in order to survive. The early Jesuit missionaries to the First Nations in Canada did just that. They lived the same rugged lifestyles of those whom they ministered to. But not many can do this. And even if a missionary family attempted this, they could not last very long.

The reality is, to produce a sustainable lifestyle, it is very expensive to get to and to remain on the remote locations. In some First Nations communities, a gallon of milk sells for $13. It requires $250,000 to build a four bedroom house. People need to buy “newish” four wheel drive pickup trucks, that won’t require repairs for several years. A person needs $320 for a return flight in and out of a community. The temperature sometime dip to minus 50 degrees Celsius. I think you get the picture. It is expensive and difficult and financial stability is a definite must to help ensure the longevity of missionaries.


The reality of life teaches us that there is not always enough money to do what must be done. That does not stop people from embracing God’s calling however. Paul continued to serve as a missionary if he had plenty or if he was in want.


Philippians 4:11-13,


11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (ESV)


We may be called to embrace a mission, even if the financial backing is not there. If this is the case then believers must hold onto the truth of


Matthew 6:33,


But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (ESV)

It would be unwise, in the vast majority of cases, to attempt to plant a church without financial backing unless you have a clear leading from the Lord to do so.


7 Principles for Church Planting According to the New Testament Pattern


Part 1: Missionaries Are Called To Be A Blessing

As Christians, we need to be a blessing wherever we go. They need to be a blessing and inspire others and not make others feel sorry for them. This is basic. Apostle Paul was able to provide for his own needs and also the needs of others like a mother providing for her children or like a father not wanting to burden his children in any way. We can not burden others. We must be a blessing.  It is so easy to make others think that if they come to see missionaries, they have to go and visit the ATM first to make a withdrawal for a donation. This should not be for it can be burdensome.

1 Thessalonians 2:6-9,


6 Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. 9 For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.” (ESV)

Missionaries are called to be a blessing. Don’t be too extreme in the attempts to “handle the Lord’s” funds. Don’t label everything Corban, (dedicated to the Lord), so that one becomes reluctant to give.

Mark 7:10-12,


10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)— 12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother,”


I have known some missionaries who did not even tip at a restaurant, thinking that they didn’t want to give away the Lord’s money in the name of stewardship. I remember in a visit to the Cathedral in Köln, a priest was walking around with a white collection box around his neck. It is not much different than the Buddhist monks who walk around with empty bowls.  It is obvious that there is a need to fundraise, but missionaries can’t just keep on asking and never give either. Be generous and be a blessing. The Lord will provide. Be generous on every occasion.

2 Corinthians 9:11-12,

11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.”  (ESV)


Our minds must be focused on Jesus and the task at hand. Missionaries should not spend their days worrying about money and how much debt they may be incurring. They should be freed from such worries to concern about heavenly things and mentoring God’s flock. This include complete and stable funding.

Colossians 3:1-3,


“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (ESV)


Missionaries are system builders and need to be dedicated to building up systems. They pioneer contemporary means of acquiring funding and helping others to do the same. Younger missionaries will be coming up behind them. Pioneering missionaries need to guide in ways of becoming financial stable to ensure the longevity of the mission.


Young missionary families, that will follow in mission, must see that there a general financial pathway that they can follow. There will be some who will have no problem living in a tar paper shack or a canvas tent, like those in the “living in Alaska” reality shows. Some are really inspired by the life of St Francis if Assisi. Such people are rare. I am not sure that such a lifestyle, in some remote locations, will support longevity on the mission field. Pioneering missionaries must show the way. They must be a guide and an inspiration to young Christian Millennials by blazing the path of financial security.

Part 2: Some Practical Aspects of Missionary Fundraising.

There are some pointers to consider…

a. Fund raising is unrelenting. Faithfulness to engage in fundraising is key. There will be several years of non-stop traveling. The radius of their traveling could be up to 1500 miles or more. The missionaries could be away from their home church 40% of the time, as they present and preach in donor churches.


b. Keep personal and ministry expenses separate. This is important that donors know that the money they give will be handled responsibly.

c. Be careful about what you are asking your donors for. They may say, “I don’t have one of those.” Pray about what is truly essential for the mission. Other things may be personal preference.

d.  Be careful how much you ask from a church. The church may expect returns. They may expect a missionary to be a “pillar” leader in a church ministry. But a missionaries’ focus must be to get to the mission field. They need to serve with their whole hearts in the local church, but the reality is they may be called away at any time to a remote location and shouldn’t leave a gap in any ministry.

e.  Seek out like minded donors. The questions to ask is, “Are we OK with these donors having a seat at the table?” Having a relationship with a mission’s agency makes it easier to seek out like minded donors. There are conferences attracting potential donors and church representatives may fill in cards, showing some interest. These contacts can be followed up on.

f.  Don’t be afraid to apply for fundraising. You might be surprised about how God wants to provide. “The Go Fund” is committed to helping three missionary families with their student loan debts. One mission provided funds to buy two pickup trucks. All the missionaries had to do is apply and present their vision and God worked. Never be afraid to ask.

g.  Think about the future. It is not wrong to plan about retirement and accruing funds for this. Don’t count on the sending church to pay for retirement. They may have forgotten about the mission. The younger people of the church may not even know the missionaries. Also, God will be leading missionaries to other areas of ministry in their senior years. It is good to have the financial freedom to follow the Lord’s leading. Plan for retirement for no one else is going to do it for you.

h.  Be faithful and full of integrity. In some missions the Lord could funnel tens of thousands of dollars through missionaries to fund the missionaries. There is a great temptation to misuse the funds. I have heard of two treasurers, in two different churches, who used church funds to pay for their kid’s education. They might have convinced themselves that they deserved using the funds. But this is being unfaithful. God teaches us that is we are faithful, taking care of our “minas” that God will entrust ten  cities to our care.

Luke 19:16-17,

1The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.” (ESV)

There are Christian financial management companies that help manage missionary incomes. They charge a certain percentage for their services. The list is vast, but here are two of them… The Great Commission; Cedar Stone.

Interact with us using Facebook

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.