Should I as an individual support a missionary?

"While I cannot Biblically prohibit the practice of individual supporters, I have encouraged anyone who asks to channel their financial support for missions through the church instead of apart from it....Our approach of emphasizing that missionary financial support should come through the local church has several advantages" - Matt Postiff

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dcbii's picture


In addition to giving to my own church for missions, I also support my cousin directly.  He's not exactly in the same circles as my own church, so he would really not be someone our church would have in to present or support.  However, I know that he is solid on the Gospel and the core doctrines of the faith, so I have no issues supporting him.  I guess I could send my contribution through his home church, but I don't think that's what this author meant.

As far as my not being able to send support at some point in the future that might cause my cousin some financial hardship, I had some concerns about that as well that I discussed with him.  However, he was able to reassure me that he would understand, and in any case, my contribution is not so large that he would lose a really large percentage of his support if something should happen to me.

I get what this author is trying to say about discernment, but while I would never simply toss aside advice from my Pastor and other church members, I also don't depend on them to do all my discernment for me.

Dave Barnhart

Jim's picture

I was always opposed to the practice but ... about 3 years ago we took on the support of 3 missionaries:

  • Two are from the Navigators. Larry Nelson's article FUNDAMENTALIST DEAD ZONES influenced me. My fundy church could care less about the University of Minnesota. I do
  • The other is of a woman and her husband in Poland. The woman, now in her mid-50's was a teen in one of the churches I pastored
T Howard's picture

What does Scripture say about individuals supporting missionaries / traveling Apostles / apostolic delegates?

That should settle the matter.

TylerR's picture


My family has individually supported a missionary in the past.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?