4 Financial Reasons Why People Don’t Go to the Mission Field

This is a guest post by Phil Bartuska. Phil is a student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina and is in the process of obtaining a M.Div in International Church Planting. He and his wife, Becca, have one child, Mark. You can follow him on Twitter at @phil_bartuska.

There are roughly three billion people in the world with little to no access to the gospel. And many of those people will live and die without ever hearing the name of Jesus. If you are a Christ-follower, this fact should be one of the driving motivations for you to go and share this good news that you have heard and received.

Unfortunately, some people who are willing to go to the nations, are held back because of financial reasons. Whether you are in this place because of poor decisions or not, they need to be addressed. Let’s look at four financial reasons why people don’t go to the mission field and what you can do about it.

  1. Student Loans. And all other kinds of debt. Some debt may appear worse than others, but all debt can be a hindrance to going overseas on mission. Many young people who desire to go to the mission field have to face the reality of the cost of higher education. I am not trying to deter anyone from getting a four year degree. But there are some lower cost options that may be right for you. If you end up with students loans, seek wise counsel, and create a plan for paying off your debt as soon as possible. Here are some of the principles that helped me.
  1. Desire to Live Comfortably. Whether we admit it or not, we all want to live comfortably. Our houses, cars, and our lifestyles all point to a desire to live a comfortable life. And missionaries are not known for having luxurious lifestyles. But is that a bad thing? Matthew 8:20 tells us about a scribe who came to Jesus wanting to follow Him. Jesus’ response: “Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to rest.” His point was that followers of Jesus will not sacrifice God’s mission for a comfy lifestyle. Don’t let that come in the way of answering the call.
  1. Fear of Raising Support. Some mission organizations require you to raise full support before you go, while others provide funds for your living expenses. There are even organizations that will help you find a job so that you can use your skills somewhere strategically for the mission of God. If this interests you, check out the Global Cities Initiative. No matter where you land on the support raising scale, have confidence in this: if God has called you to go overseas on mission, He will make a way for you to get there.
  1. Not Being Able to Climb the Corporate Ladder. One of the things people struggle with in thinking about becoming a missionary is not being able to climb the corporate ladder. Many times, this ties into the desire to live comfortably. There is nothing wrong with wanting to work in business or any other profession. But don’t let your desire to be the boss distract you from surrendering to the will of your heavenly Father.

Some people are held back from going to the mission field for reasons completely out of their control. Rest in knowing that God knows what is best for you even during this time. For others, consider whether these reasons are holding you back from answering God’s call on your life, and then do something about it.

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One thought on “4 Financial Reasons Why People Don’t Go to the Mission Field

  1. As a person in her fifties who IS on the mission field, I find it interesting how many individuals have bypassed missions organizations and figured how to get there on their own. This has its strengths and weaknesses. But I think it does say something about how difficult it is to fit into some organization’s requirements. For us, after 35 years in ministry, 10 of which was cross cultural stateside, being over 50 automatically disqualified us. We found our own accountability partners and went for it. And we are extremely glad we did. And we found many others like us doing the same thing. And the crazy thing is, that in Haiti, where we are, you aren’t considered to be a person with much knowledge to impart unless you are over 60, sometimes even 70! Every missions organization has their reasons for doing what they do. But I believe the call of God has been discounted by some. And if barriers to getting there exist but God has truly called, He will make it all come together, like He has done for us. We literally have never had to ask for support. Financial supporters have come to us on their own initiative and by the leading of God. I think that says a lot.