What Do Our Missionaries Need? [Podcast 41]

We send missionaries all over the world, many into locations that involve danger or at least extreme isolation. Even missionaries in places they can serve openly face challenges that we might not understand. The truth is those of us who “send” missionaries don’t always do a good job of it.

We act as if we don’t understand that we all are commissioned to be a part of going to the nations.

When we don’t send our missionaries well, the work of going to the nations with the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ suffers. It reveals our true hearts.

This reality became clear to me a few years ago while working with a missionary in Macau. At the time, her and her husband had been on the field for over 25 years. I asked her who her home church in America was. Her reply stunned me. She said that since they had been gone for so long, they really didn’t have one anymore.

That conversation has stuck with me, and over the years it motivates me to work harder at connecting with those I know serving around the world. It led me to begin podcasting over a year ago so that I can bring interviews to you of different missionaries. My hope is that hearing from them in their own voice as they share with you their story will compel you to engage more deeply with the work they are doing.

Awhile back I asked a few of my missionaries friends this question, “What are some common challenges you face on the field?” I compiled their answers into a list of 13 common challenges and shared that with you in a blog.

Today I want you to listen to this podcast episode where I expound on their answers and give you ideas of how you can connect more deeply with missionaries you know.

Will you listen to the podcast and make notes of ways you can come alongside a missionary and support them?


13 Common Challenges Missionaries Face

  1. Language acquisition
  2. Lack of training
  3. Character issues
  4. Team struggles
  5. Lack of financial support
  6. Lack of resources
  7. Flexibility
  8. Culture shock
  9. Disappointment
  10. Isolation
  11. Marriage tension
  12. Parenting
  13. Spiritual attack

These are books that I have read over the past several years. They challenge and equip me to live a life on mission.

When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself This book helped me understand how to truly help someone who is in need. I have applied these principles in many areas.

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream David Platt challenges us to live life centered on others. The book also provides practical application.

The Hole in Our Gospel Special Edition: What Does God Expect of Us? The Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World Richard Stearns, CEO of World Vision, “uses his journey to demonstrate how the gospel-the whole gospel-was always meant to be a world changingsocial revolution, a revolution that begins with us.”

The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating Apostolic Movements

Enough: Finding More by Living with Less

The Key to the Missionary Problem

The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door

The Monkey and the Fish: Liquid Leadership for a Third-Culture Church (Leadership Network Innovation Series) I read this book while riding in a van in the middle of Thailand. One of my favorites.

Thanks for listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. I need all the reviews I can get and they really do help!
  • Subscribe on iTunes.

Get Your Free Copy!


No one enjoys going through the motions each day. Find out what your mission is in life! Get your free copy of 21 Ways To Discover Your Mission In Life.

Powered by ConvertKit

I am a longtime Austinite. Married my beautiful wife over 25 years ago. Adopted our son September 2012. Currently a writer and loving it. Previous jobs and careers include project management, missionary, and pastor. I enjoy sports (both watching and playing), traveling, reading, digging in dirt and hanging with my friends and family.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.