The Missionary Closet

By Tuesday, December 13, 2011 1 0

Does your church have a Missionary Closet? Some churches still have a closet full of items that missionaries can take to use after visiting. The closet always contains things like home school supplies, toiletries, hostess gifts, etc.

Here are some of the things our ideal “missionary closet” would contain (it’s not all what you’d think!).

  • The details of the specific ways our ministry has blessed you
  • A list of things we can pray for you and your family
  • The opportunity to share a cup of coffee with you
  • Gift cards to Target, Amazon and Barnes & Noble (we have a Nook)
  • Useful office supplies like printer paper, ink, envelopes, stamps, labels
  • The names of some people you think might be interested in meeting us and learning about our ministry in Spain
  • Birthday cards for each of us (Chris: August 20, Rose: May 8, Susanna: June 30)
  • Inclusion on your Christmas card list (we know it costs more to mail to Europe, but we LOVE snail mail!)
  • A charitable gift in our name (some of our favorite organizations include Angel Tree, World Concern, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound.
  • A social media “share” (of a blog post or our Facebook page)
  • A dog-eared copy of a book you recently read
  • A reply to our prayer letter
  • Links to recent sermons, blog posts or YouTube videos that made you think of us (and tell us why!)
  • Something from our missions wishlist
  • Candy
  • Gluten- and dairy-free baked goods (for Chris!)
  • Good, old-fashioned support
  • Reminders that you are praying for us
  • Magazines, booklets and videos of resources for youth ministry in a postmodern world, especially if it comes in Spanish (we don’t have a lot of resources on our field!)
  • A ticket to a local youth ministry conference when you know we’ll be on furlough
  • Babysitting
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  • Katie

    Wow! I have never heard of this before, but it’s a great idea!

    Also, I love what you specifically have put on this list.. If I may make a confession, your first three items in particular have actually gone a long way towards dispelling the one thing I secretly hate about about missionaries (which for obvious reasons I haven’t mentioned to you). When missionaries come to our church, the lasting impression I’ve gotten is that they’re a bit… take-take-take. Selfish is hardly the right word, given that I know how selfless they are in the field, etc, and what they’re asking for mostly isn’t even for their own benefit, but, it does kind of seem like they always want more money, and they always want more prayers, and don’t really contribute to or take an interest in the actual church that is providing those things, and it’s not reciprocal, like an ordinary church family.

    And I know to the missionaries (in general), we are just another church on their list, just another speaking appointment, just another something they have to do to be able to get on with their ‘real’ work in whichever country they are missioning in, etc, but, we are also a vibrant church with our own stories to tell, thankyouverymuch.

    And you’ve shown so much grace towards supporting churches in this list – THANKYOU! You really have made it clear that actually, it’s not like that at all, it was just my own problem with the way I understood it.

    If you had a physical closet, I’d probably be the one buying the printer paper and the envelopes, that kind of thing. That’s the sort of support I like to give.