March 1, 2011

Traditional vs. Faith Missions

Sometimes when the subject of missions comes up, and we mention that we are planning to go back to Argentina as missionaries, some people have asked us, "How do you do that?"

There are two basic ways to do missions - one, as a "traditional" missionary (also known as classical or denominational); and two, "faith missions". And maybe a third - tentmaking.

Traditional missionaries would be those who go through a missions organization or a church that already has an established missions program. There are thousands of missions organizations out there, all differing somewhat in their focus and the way they do missions. If you go through a missions organization, you raise your own financial support from family and friends, and various churches - your home church (as an entity) may or may not support you financially, depending on individual circumstances. Then you have churches that have strong missions programs, like the Baptists and the Mennonites, who send out their own missionaries through their denomination. Some examples of famous traditional missionaries are: William Carey (Baptist), David Livingstone (Congregationalist), and Lottie Moon (Baptist).

Faith missions are those that go in faith. They hear the call, and they go. They trust the God who calls to be the God who provides. Some well-known missionaries who have gone in faith and relied soley on God for their provision include Hudson Taylor, Gladys Aylward, and Jim Elliot.

Tentmakers are Christian missionaries who have day jobs. They support themselves by working and do missions and ministry as they can. Paul (aka Saul of Tarsus) was a tentmaker.

1 comment:

Ask Marj said...

Guess we would be called faith missions!

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