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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Why It's Important For Pastors to Visit Missionaries--A Missionary's Point of View

This week, we hosted one of our supporting pastors and his wife. It was a short visit, but we had time to talk and to share. Our supporting pastor preached in our church and met our people. It was wonderful!

This pastor and his wife are visiting almost all of the missionaries that their church supports in Europe. They have been to England, France, visited us in Spain, and now they’re in Wales. They’ll fly out of England to go home in a few days.

Why is it important that pastors visit their missionaries? Why should churches enable and encourage their pastor to do so?

Here are a few ideas from a missionary’s viewpoint:
  1. Your supporting pastor encourages you. The pastor took time from his very busy schedule to make you and your family a priority. That alone speaks volumes! While I was visiting with the pastor’s wife, the men were talking about ministry and sharing. This is a very rare opportunity for us. If the pastor can bring his wife (and maybe even the children) the missionary wife will have the rare and extremely enriching opportunity to share with a ministry wife, learn from her, laugh and cry with her. (We did all of that; I assure you!)
  2. Your supporting pastor helps you to maintain that vital connection with the people back in the States, in his church. In the case of the pastor who visited us this week, we have a more than thirty years relationship with his church. What a blessing to have this continuity with the people, to see the church prosper and grow and change. The pastor and his wife brought news about some sprucing up around the church, plans for the future, and a new ministry emphasis. How wonderful!
  3. Your supporting pastor learns about God’s work on your field. I noticed that many of the pastor’s questions were about our specific ministry challenges. The men shared about evangelization, bouncing ideas off each other.
  4. Your supporting pastor actually sees your ministry—the people who make up your church. Nothing is more important than this face time with God’s people. In this case, our pastor is fluent in Spanish. He preached in our service, and it was a blessing in many ways. Our people were challenged through the Word of God. They got to hear one of our supporting pastors speak. It also helped them understand better the relationship between supporting church and missionary on the field. And, he got to chat with our people after the service.
  5. It means a lot to our church people that our supporting pastor cares enough to schedule a visit to our small church. For them, it was a privilege and a blessing.
  6. It deepens the personal friendship between pastor and missionary. Although we were already friends with this particular pastor and his family, it was wonderful to have this added connection. It was the first time they had been in our home, the first time we had had this much time to talk one-on-one, the first time they had actually seen our ministry as it is. It enabled us to have a lovely time of fellowship with like-minded friends.

We know that the church back in the States prays for us regularly and specifically. It was a joy to host our pastor and his wife.

It is wonderful to have a supporting pastor visit our field of service!

As cold waters to a thirsty soul,
so is good news from a far country (Proverbs 25:25).


  1. I've been glad to see churches taking steps this direction in the last few years. All of our pastors who have gone to visit our missionaries have so enjoyed it, and it helps the church back home as well, to get more of a picture of the missionary's life and work, as most of the pastors take a Sun. evening service and share and show photos, etc. Years ago when it took 2 months by ship to go overseas this probably would not have been possible, but it can be doable these days. Sometimes you can snag overseas flights for not much money.

    1. Oh yes, I'm sure there are benefits for the home church! It was wonderful, and we hope to see them and other pastors again. Thank you, Barbara, for your comment.

  2. Si, si que fue una bendición esta visita. Aunque no hablé mucho con ellos. Fue una predicación muy buena. Fue bueno saber de su propia voz que se preocupan y oran por nosotros regularmente. Es reconfortante saberlo y entender mejor en que consiste el tener una gran familia en el Señor.

    1. Thank you, Tere. I thought it was wonderful that you all could meet them.

  3. This is so true! Our pastor came several years ago. It was a huge blessing.

    1. Thank you, Danielle, for your comment. God bless!


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