This book takes seriously the responsibility for Christians to relevantly participate in the Great Commission and in the challenging issues facing our world. In particular, the authors have done a great job in detailing the responsibility to comprehensively support our mission personnel who are serving Christ in new ways and in difficult settings. Through many practical examples and personal experiences, the Trinity MC Team points the way forward for other churches to consider as they further develop their own member care programs—to know their mission personnel well (close relationships) and to care for their mission personnel well (competent services) (Proverbs 27: 23-24). This book builds upon the many helpful church-related materials in the member care literature by adding a wealth of specific ideas, suggestions, and tools for guidance. The member care field will be stronger because of this instructive book, especially as the field continues to branch out into new areas of service (e.g., supporting the diversity of people who are working across cultures, generations, issues, sectors, etc.). We are grateful for the terrific team effort modeled by its authors and for their hands-on commitment to the well-being and effectiveness of mission personnel working throughout our very needy world.
Dr. Kelly O’Donnell and Dr. Michèle Lewis O’Donnell
Consulting Psychologists, Member Care Associates, Inc.
Mind the Gaps is a vibrant, timely, and relevant book that will move a standard Mission Committee that oversees mission funds and arranges occasional Mission Conferences to an involved and energetic Missionary Care team… I know of no other book like it. This volume will be incredibly useful to any church that wants to become more missional, and wants to be energetically and compassionately involved in the workers they deploy.
Laura Mae Gardner
“Obedience to God’s call draws missionaries into many profoundly new, potentially disorienting, and sometimes traumatic and lonely experiences. Loving, grace-filled relationships with the supportive community of their sending church provides resilience that is essential for their growth and their ministries to flourish. Sending churches have a unique opportunity to uphold these disciples through relationships that emphasize personal caring while the missionaries minister to others. This outstanding book imparts a wealth of mission specific knowledge in a practical and accessible manner written by people who clearly know and have experienced the mission field themselves.”
Charles A. Schaefer, Ph.D.
Co-Author, Trauma & Resilience
Trinity Church, under the leadership of Mission Pastor David Wilson, has undertaken a most thoughtful and comprehensive study of the multiple facets of missionary care. Every one is germane to the well-being of a church’s cross-cultural outreach ministry. The whole team is to be commended. However, of greater importance is that you, the reader, “Get on Board” and prayerfully apply these principles to your individual fellowship.
Director, Emmaus Road International
Author, Serving as Senders Today
I believe this book will be a tremendous addition to the existing literature on missionary care from the church side of the equation. I trust and pray that it will have a huge impact on those who choose to read and implement your suggestions. I will probably order a case myself when they become available! May God continue to guide you in the process of publishing it.
I read dozens of books every year on the topic of missionary care; I have never read anything like this. Mind the Gaps is a much-needed and long-overdue addition to the discussion of how to practically care for the harvest workers we send out. This book is full of good information, but more importantly, it has the potential to act as a catalyst for expanding the conversation. Read it, then join the conversation.
President, Paracletos, Inc.
Equipping the church to care for the harvest force
“They have an excellent grasp of what missionaries really face!”
Dave & Pris Reimer
Fulfilling the great commission is too great a task to accomplish alone. We all need to be engaged in the task, whether it is serving on the front lines, or providing a support network for those who do. Helpful, effective partnerships between church and missionary involve more than writing checks and offering occasional prayers. Mind the Gaps identifies some of the unique needs of cross-cultural workers and gives encouragement and practical suggestions for coming alongside as caring, supportive partners in ministry.
Director of Member Care
Evangelical Free Church of America
Many churches express a desire to provide better care for their missionaries. Mind the Gaps presents practical, realistic ways a church can do this. It is easy to read, easy to learn from, and covers areas which most churches do not even think about. This book fills a gap. I recommend it to every missionary care team.
Dr Debbie Hawker,
Executive Committee member,
Global Member Care Network
“There is a growing awareness in the North American evangelical church of the importance of global missionary care. For years the church has come alongside missionaries to provide prayer and financial support…but how wonderful to see the church embracing the Biblical mandate to care also for the spiritual and emotional needs of those they send out. “Mind the Gaps” is filled with practical ideas to help the church engage with global missions by providing heart care to their mission teams. This is a “must read” for any church that wants to fully understand their God given call to shepherd their workers.”
“It is a delight to endorse this book. This is such an important subject, but one that has been long overlooked. I believe that most churches leave the care of their missionaries to the agencies. In my opinion this is a great mistake. The sending church has a unique responsibility and relationship to its missionary. This very practical, ‘how-to’ book is a must read for anyone in the church who has an interest in providing care for their church’s missionaries.”
TEAM (The Evangelical Alliance Mission)
“Mind the Gaps is a much needed resource in which the rise of church based teams is becoming a significant force. There is a healthy respect for the “triad of care” (agencies, churches and individuals) reflected in these pages and an honest look at the dilemmas that occur when agencies and churches seek to care for overseas workers. This is a book that I would want my agency and church to read as they seek to care for my personal needs as an international worker.”
co-author of Tender Care
We view the church as a strategic partner in sending out missionaries from our organization to wherever in the world God has led them to serve. While some churches have well developed missionary care structures, there are many which are unaware of how to care for their people. I am grateful this book can now be a resource to share with our appointees and their sending churches. Within these pages are both principles and practical tools to be adopted by mission committees of varying sizes. Well done!
Faith De La Cour
Director of Member Care
As a former cross cultural worker who once stood broken and in need of care, I enthusiastically endorse this book. I am deeply burdened to mobilize the Church, as the missionary sending body, to engage in compassionate care of its kingdom workers. This will most certainly be required reading for our ministry students in our college. My prayer is for this book to gain a wide readership and broad influence.
Director of Missions
Trinity Baptist Church/Trinity Baptist College
At last, a missionary care manual written for sending churches by a sending church. This is a hands-on, how-to book for church leaders who want to know how to start, or start over, in caring for missionaries from beginning to end. Here you will learn how to choose a sending team from within the church, how to select a mission agency, how to prepare your missionaries, how to let them feel your love, how to heal the brokenhearted, how to help them persevere, and how to welcome them home. Church leaders who want to know that the care of missionary families and singles is going to be complex and demanding, will want to read this book. It will make a dream become a reality; it will turn your “What if?” into “What is.”
Bob Blincoe, PhD
A brilliant treasure chest of time-tested collective wisdom! This book is must read for any Church already engaged in, or interested in beginning the great privilege of caring for missionaries.
Vice President Global Talent
Operation Mobilization, USA
What an excellent resource this is! I found that it rang true with my experience with a missionary’s need for care from their sending churches. I particularly liked that the book is very practical. While providing appropriate background they did not make theory the main point of the book. Their examples show other churches how to do it without insisting that their ‘method’ is the only way. They outline the steps a church can take in each area to develop their own member care plan. The questions at the end of each chapter make this a workbook that can be easily followed. The book is so comprehensive that even a church, which is already doing a good job, will pick up ways to enhance what they are already doing. This book is all-inclusive, in that it does not just deal with crisis situations. It covers needs that all missionaries have starting from their first interest in missions through their retirement. Finally, I like the emphasis on the church and agency serving together as partners in missionary care. Both are responsible for providing care for missionaries. As they say, there are gaps and will always be gaps in care. If both agency and church “mind the gap” we will promote the well-being, resilience, and sustainability of missionaries who are giving their lives for the sake of the gospel. Thank you for your labor of love in writing this book. It is needed and will be widely used.
Steven G. Edlin MA LCPC MFT
Member Care Director
I’m celebrating the publication of this book! One of the most important areas of need and potential in missions today involves the ongoing role of the sending church in providing for the health and effectiveness of its missionaries. All too often this topic has become a source of confusion and disappointment between the missionary, sending church and agency. Mind the Gaps is a wonderfully practical tool, full of experience and real-life case studies, that will help dispel the mystery and pave the way to greater fruitfulness. I hope every church missions team will study these chapters and take advantage of the supplemental resources at www.MindTheGaps.org.
“I wholeheartedly recommend Mind the Gaps for anyone who cares about missions and missionaries. This book in itself fills a gap in the missionary care world by giving churches a practical, full-orbed model for keeping missionaries healthy and on the field. It is written by a team of people who speak from a wealth of experience in caring for missionaries from a local church perspective. They are refreshingly honest about their struggles as they worked to put together a team and process to effectively care for the people in ministry that they support as a church. From my own interactions with this team, I know that they do not only talk about working together with mission agencies to care for missionaries. They practice what they
Timothy Smith, LPC
Prepare/Enrich Certified Counselor
Greater Europe Mission
As someone who has been invested in the care of missionaries as part of a mission agency, I am so thankful for a resource like Mind the Gaps. A strong partnership between the church, the missionary, and the agency are key to successful long-term ministry, particularly during hard times. Mind the Gaps provides a clear plan for ways that we can support one another in our areas of strength, allowing us to serve together more fully as the body of Christ.
Jennifer Holloran, SPHR
Chief Human Resources Officer
Wycliffe Bible Translators