We just finished having three sets of visitors with us here in Northern Ireland. We had Pastor and Mrs. Wayne Cofield, Stephen and April Baker, a group of ten people from Maranatha Baptist Bible College, and Scott and Karen Seigman from Defiance, Ohio. We really enjoyed our time. Their visits were very beneficial.
I know that sometimes missionaries can get a bad attitude about visitors and not want them to come because of various reasons, but let me offer some thoughts about the benefits of visitors to the mission field:
- Encouragement: Visitors can encourage both the church-planters and the people in the new churches. Often the churches are smaller, so having outside visitors come to minister, fellowship with, and help at the churches can be a great encouragement.
- Special Help: Visitors can provide alot of help with special projects that need extra manpower such as literature distribution, work on buildings and grounds, special meetings, and special projects.
- Future Workers: Visitors can become future workers. Coming to the field can expose them to the need, and God can raise up future missionaries and workers through their eye affecting their heart.
- Partnerships: Visitors can become partners or strengthen partnerships in the work. Most people who come are members of a local church. Their visit to you can cause their church to commit to praying for and possibly financially supporting the work. Their visit can also strengthen ties with those churches who are already supporting you.
- Accountability: Visitors can keep the church-planter accountable. As people see the work, they know if you are really doing what you say you are doing.
- Evangelism and Discipleship: Visitors can help to sow gospel seeds in the lives of others through witnessing, special meetings, and literature distribution. Visitors can also help to teach and disciple people in the church through teaching and modeling the Christian life.
I am sure there are other benefits that come from such visits. If you have any other comments or ideas, why not post them in the comments below?
Read more at bcwe.org.