Posts Tagged ‘missionary member care’

What do missionaries need?

November 11, 2011 2 comments

In a recent meeting, we led a discussion on the needs of missionaries and asked the following question.  Thinking about missionaries from the time of recruitment to the period of retirement, what do they need in order to survive and thrive?  Following a brainstorming session in small groups, we compiled a list and then asked the small groups to identify what basic category (that we had pre-selected) each need had fallen into.

Since this is a work-in-progress, I would appreciate if others out there could add to the list.


  • Mission agency
  • Schooling options and TCK care
  • Review
  • Welcome back
  • House
  • Admin
  • Vacation
  • Money and supporters
  • Medical care
  • Communication
  • IT and Technology
  • Accountability
  • Communication
  • Immigration
  • Centers
  • Retirement plan
  • Accountability


  • Appreciation
  • Encouragement
  • Adequate sleep and rest
  • Flexibility/resilience/adaptability
  • Patience
  • Perseverance
  • Forgiving
  • Respect
  • Vacations
  • Ownership of Vision/Mission/Values
  • Recreation
  • Adaptability
  • Debrief and listening
  • Resiliency
  • Appropriate organizational exit


  • Visits
  • Good relationships
  • Flexibility
  • Partners
  • Friendships
  • Laughter
  • Family support
  • Peace makers
  • Conference
  • Team
  • Community


  • Sense of competency
  • Sense of empowerment
  • Direction
  • Challenges with support
  • Cultural advice
  • Good examples and mentors
  • Vision
  • Ongoing training
  • Godly effective leaders
  • Permission to take initiative
  • Member development
  • Daniel learning
  • Clear expectations
  • Meaningful work
  • Coaching
  • Studies and training
  • Accountability
  • Good communication
  • Contingency plans
  • Monthly Information Sheet


  • Identity security: A strong sense of who they are in Christ
  • Deep relationship with God
  • Prayer
  • Faith in God
  • Strong sense of call
  • God’s word
  • Discipline
  • Discipleship

How am I doing?

November 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Kelly and Michele O’Donnell offered the following resources for missionary member care in a recent newsletter but I think a lot of people might benefit from some of these self-assessment instruments   Warning: not written with a Christian perspective.  Some registration is required but all of them are free as far as I could tell. Following is their email:

There are a number of brief tools for assessing areas like work-life balance, strengths, burnout, stress, and resiliency. The inventories we mention below are easy to use although note that their applicability to international settings/populations is not established. We use such tools to help workers get a general sense of how they are doing and to discuss strengths, weaknesses, and coping strategies.

1. Resilience. Here is one of many online tools:

2. Strengths. The Authentic Happiness site offers helpful tools in six languages. See the tools to assess perseverance (GRIT Survey) and character strengths (VIA Survey).

3. Social support. One example of a tool is the Social Provision Scale. The link here includes no norms so it is best to use this tool for discussion.

4. Organizational support. How can organizations help their staff deal with stress?  See the “Managing Stress” guidelines in English and Arabic from the Antares Foundation.