So, you’ve made it to the mission field and now it’s time to communicate with your supporters. What do you say? How often should you communicate? Is it wrong to ask for financial support? Here’s some tips from some great missionary newsletters I’ve seen over time:
COMMUNICATION: (Mal 3:16) Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another… As has been said, communication is the key to any good relationship. You have the privilege and opportunity to keep in touch with your supporters and let them know what God is doing and how they can pray for you. Even if you think you don’t have any exciting news it is important to keep reaching out. Some supporters have complained about never hearing from their missionary. And some have dropped their missionary support due to non-communication. Whether you think that is right or wrong isn’t the point. Be a good communicator!
DURATION: How often should you send out your newsletter? Monthly is good. Some do quarterly. But just remember if you wait too long your newsletter will be too long. Keep your newsletters on the shorter end. No one likes a long missionary newsletter! People are busy, and busy people like things short and sweet.
CONSTRUCTION: What about your newsletter structure? Pray before you write it and then just speak from your heart. If you are looking for a template then go with this: Theme Scripture, Greeting, Thank you, Basic News, Praise Reports, Prayer Needs, Support Info, Contact info.
ILLUSTRATION: Everybody loves a good picture. And nowadays everyone can be a semi-pro with the technology we have and the easy use of it. Take pictures of the places you go, people you meet, and the things God has you doing. Then upload them to your newsletter. Your ministry will look more real and personal to your readers.
INSPIRATION: Make sure the news you share is uplifting and positive, even if it’s been a trying season of your life. Remember Paul said from prison, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Phil 4:4) Your newsletter is not only about you. It is also a means whereby you may lift up and encourage your supporters.
MOTIVATION: No, it is not wrong to give your supporters the chance to contribute to your ministry. It is Biblical to give to missionaries (Rom 10:15; Phil 4:14-18; 3 John 1:5-8). Just never plead for funds! Trust God, let people know you are living by faith, and then pray. God will do the rest. (Mat 6:8) … your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
DISTRIBUTION: How should you send out your newsletter? By any means you can! Snail mail, email, post on your blog or webpage, social media, etc. Have someone from your home church print out your newsletter and put it on the back table of the church for people to pick up.
Hope this helps. Remember you have a wonderful team of people who enjoy hearing from you!