missions

In Search of the Right Missionary

search for missionaries online
Written by kevin.horan

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This is a guest post by Kevin Horan. Read more about how you can guest post on Christian Web Trends here.

Many people desire to support missionaries contributing to a personal goal they have, or to whom they can relate. Up till now, finding specific missionaries has been a difficult task. But that is about to change.

In traditional partnership development, missionaries seek financial support based on personal relationships. But what if it could also go the other way around? What if partners could find missionaries as well?

There are “strategic partners” out there who want to support missionaries contributing to a strategic goal they have. There are also people who have recently been impressed with the desire to be part of missions but don’t happen to know any missionaries personally.

In both of these cases, these potential partners have not been given the proper tools to effectively find missionaries. Engaging these partners more fully could make a huge impact on missionaries raising support.

The Other Direction

A strategic partner is someone who has decided on their own to support missionaries with a specific goal in mind. Given this strategic goal, they then try to find missionaries who are already contributing to that goal. For example, someone might have a heart for a particular country and want to support missionaries serving there. Or they might feel that there is a real need for tech-savvy workers in missions. Another person might want to support missionaries reaching a particular people group, such as Muslims or a least-reached people group. The list could go on and on.

We have encountered several such partners along our own partnership development journey. There were people who found us and wanted to support us because of the work we were doing.

A second group of people are those who have recently been impressed with the desire to be part of missions. This could be as the result of a sermon they heard, or a small group meeting they attended, or something else entirely. They feel they should be contributing something, but don’t personally know any missionaries to support. With the proper tool, they could find missionaries they could relate to in some way or whose ministry resonates with them, perhaps via a shared job skill, or a connection to a country of origin. They may be inspired to partner with them.

But, this group of potential partners has a problem. How do they find missionaries contributing to their goals?

Suppose someone wants to support a missionary employing IT skills, how would they find one? They could contact one mission organization after another asking if by chance they have a missionary doing IT work who needs support. Or they could visit countless websites hoping they list job skills for their missionaries and their support levels. Both of these are very labor-intensive. They could ask their church or their circle of contacts, but that would be very hit and miss. The same problems are encountered for just about any criteria.

Even if visiting every organization’s website was a possibility, for most organizations, their list of missionaries is not searchable. Sometimes even browsing a list is not possible. In some cases, this is done to protect missionaries serving in sensitive locations, which is completely understandable. But that doesn’t cover every case. It seems most organizations assume that if you are coming to their missionary page, you already know the name of someone you want to support. This, understandably, assumes the personal relationship method.

The Solution

To fully engage these groups of potential partners, the best solution would be a single website that could collect information about missionaries in need of support from all organizations, and structure it in a searchable format. It should be searchable by location via a map and be able to be filtered by things like job skills, areas of the world being impacted by their work, their current support level, etc. It also should not take any part of donations, as that only makes the job of raising support harder again.

The personal connection between a partner and missionary is also crucial to the missionary’s success. Partners should be praying for, and encouraging their missionaries along the way. This must be supported by any solution.

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At Ergatas, we feel that we’ve created just such a website. You can find out more at https://ergatas.org.

With such a tool, an entirely new group of people can be fully engaged for the Kingdom, helping missionaries reach full funding faster, and blessing the giver at the same time.

Have you ever felt like you’d like to be more involved in missions but didn’t know where to start?

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    About the author

    kevin.horan

    Kevin earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2011 and then became a supported missionary doing IT work and software development. When not coding, Kevin is usually out mountain biking. In 2020 Kevin founded Ergatas (https://ergatas.org).

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