Serving as Senders by Neal Pirolo
Pirolo’s main point in his book is that “Missions should not just focus on those who go but those who serve as senders are equally significant.”
As one who is going to be sent out to the mission field, I can attest to the fact that there is indeed a substantial amount of attention given to those who go, and literally no attention given to those who serve as senders. I believe the main reason for the lack of focus on the senders is that the potential senders have no clue, like myself, on how to serve as senders.
It is easy for senders to understand the importance of those who go, but then be left with the feeling that if they were not called to go, the only alternative is to give the missionaries some money, wish them well and say goodbye!
I recognize the tremendous need for senders and this need goes far beyond the gesture of showing up for a farewell party or writing out a check to missions. A cross-cultural worker needs the support of a team of senders while he is preparing to go, while he is on the field, and when he returns. The effectiveness of those who are sent is contingent on those who serve as senders!
You can be part of the team!
In this book, Pirolo suggests 6 areas in which you can serve as a sender. If your heart is stirred by people of other cultures, yet you have not heard God’s call to go, you may be called into the ministry of serving as a sender. Prayerfully consider serving in any one or more of these areas of care:
Moral Support – Giving an encouraging word
Logistics Support – Details and planning
Financial Support – Money
Prayer Support – Intense spiritual warfare
Communication Support – emails, skype, visits and more
Reentry Support – Helping the missionary fully integrate his new self into his new environment
Each area has its unique responsibilities and is best served by specific gifts within the church. For example, if you have the gift of encouragement, it will be easier for you to give moral and communication support. The gift of administration will be very helpful for logistics support. To contribute to the financial support of your friend will be easier if you have the gift of giving. Vital to prayer support is the gift of intercession. Reentry support is greatly helped by those who exercise the gift of hospitality. Allow God’s Spirit to speak to your heart about your possible involvement in any one or more of these areas of support.
To understand better your part as senders in this awesome task of world evangelization, know that those who go and those who serve as senders merge their callings, talents and gifting to form the cross-cultural outreach team that will reach the nations for Christ.