Casual Friday Missionary Care Resources

Oct 19, 2018 | Blog, Casual Friday

Autumn finally decided to show up this week. We’ve had a couple nights of 32 degrees, and beautiful clear blue skies. But we know that we could have blustery, rainy days at any time; that’s the nature of this season. Kinda like the nature of missionary care. Sometimes things sail along smoothly; other times things get a little rocky. You’ll be prepared to come alongside in either case with resources like these.



How do you know when it’s time for a break? Anisha Hopkinson offers some helpful indicators. Creating and maintaining rhythms of rest on the mission field requires severe intentionality. You can help your overseas friends by sharing this with them.


Closely related to the need for physical rest is the importance of mental rest. Hobbies are a way of giving your brain a break from the intense work of cross-cultural missions. Sadly, too many missionaries consider hobbies a waste of time. Perhaps this article by Tim Wu would help them consider otherwise.


Sabbath. How do you respond/react to the concept? For far too many missionaries, the prevailing paradigm is “I’ll rest when I get to heaven.” Ouch! Sabbath is meant to be joyfully anticipated, as Claire Nguyen explains in this post. She includes some helpful guidelines as well. I’ll bet you know someone who could use them.


What if you were only allowed to ask one “why” question a day? Marilyn Gardner thinks it would really help missionaries acclimate to their host country. I think she has a point. What do you think? And for your convenience, here’s a link to the post she references, “Living Well Where You Don’t Belong.”


Here’s one I wish wasn’t necessary. But knowing that this is a very real problem, I think What Rachel Pieh Jones has to say on the subject of sexual harassment needs to be heard. For the men who read this, how can we help our spouses and female partners deal with this?


Conflict with teammates is one of the leading causes of missionary attrition—and it can be minimized. In this post from Missionary Life, the author offers ways to deal with extreme personality differences.


You’ll frequently see me linking to articles about the benefits of napping. Here’s another way to promote brain health: walking. Simple exercise can make a huge difference in, not just physical wellbeing, but mental and emotional as well. Kyli Rodriguez-Cayro cites 8 benefits that science has identified.


Rhythms of rest are absolutely essential to longevity on the mission field. Yet many (maybe most) global workers struggle to establish and maintain such rhythms. Danielle Germaine speaks for many, I’m sure, when she talks about the challenges of consistent Sabbath.

The temptation to perform and appear productive…feels constant.

Every missionary you know should read this—and heed Danielle’s admonition.



If you are involved in the life of a TCK, you may be surprised or challenged by some of the ways in which they engage in relationships. Because they have lived in unusual circumstances, their paradigms for relating to others may look quite different than what you are used to.

Third Culture Kids often experience relational challenges later in life. [Their] challenges are not simply the result of personal failings, but are instead normal responses to extraordinary circumstances.

Dr. Rachel Cason’s post on attachment and trauma will give you much to chew on.



Far too many missionaries are driven by shame, and many more suffer from its effect on their ministry. Potter’s Inn is sponsoring a one-day seminar by Dr. Curt Thompson, author of The Soul of Shame, January 25, in Colorado Springs. You may be interested in expanding your understanding of this topic and learning ways to deal with it.


The folks at Thrive have opened registration for their July, 2019 women’s retreat in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Who could you host for this exceptional deal? Want to volunteer to help at the retreat? There’s opportunity for that, too (scroll down a bit on the page).



The gift of presence is one we tend to minimize. We, as a culture, are activists; we want to do something to help when our friends face tough times. Becky Keife explains how simply being there—especially in their pain—can mean more to our friends than anything else we could offer. That’s the kind of friend your missionary acquaintance needs you to be.


How much do you know about lament and its role in a Christian’s life? Are you familiar with the practice and its benefits for global workers?

Without such grief coming out and being relieved, cynicism is birthed and faith is abandoned.

Steven Smith admonishes us to make lament a regular part of our lives—a spiritual discipline. What would this look like for the missionaries you know? How could you encourage them to consider this?


There are a great many single people on the mission field, and they have some unique needs when it comes to missionary care. Amy Young talks about a pitfall we should avoid in talking to and about singles. Some good advice for any of us who are called to come alongside single missionaries.




What is your understanding of moral humility? Of public humility, semantic humility, or intercultural, incarnational, or theological humility. If you’re like me, those phrases have rarely if ever crossed your mind. They are the subject of Andy McCullough’s new book Global Humility: Attitudes for Mission. Marilyn Gardner reviews it here, and her thoughts were enough for me to order the book. How about you? Does this look like something that would challenge you to growth? How might it be useful in your care of missionaries?



Do you do anything special this time of year (i.e. corn maze, pumpkin patch, cider by the fire…)? Chances are your missionary friend misses some of those activities. How might you be able to give them a taste of home?



New on my bookshelf:

  • Sacred Pathways, by Gary Thomas
  • Moving from I to We, by Paul Ford
  • Knocking Over the Leadership Ladder, by Paul Ford
  • Dare to Lead, by Brene Brown
  • Coaching Financial Support Raiser in Ministry, by Jordan Smith
  • Arriving Well: Stories about Identity…, by Brubaker, Watts, and Cumberford
  • Invitation to Retreat, by Ruth Haley Barton
  • The Marketspace, by Larry McCrary
  • Souvenirs of Solitude, by Brennan Manning

What I’m reading this week:

  • Dragging Baggage: A Guide for Those Struggling on the Mission Field, by Alice Young
  • Inspired: Slaying giants, walking on water, and loving the Bible again, by Rachel Evans
  • Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel
  • Winston S. Churchill: World in Torment: 1916-1922, by Martin Gilbert

Recently finished reading:

  • Autumn: A Spiritual Biography, Schmidt & Felch, eds.
  • Under Our Skin: Getting Real about Race, by Benjamin Watson
  • The Garlic Ballads, by Mo Yan
  • Receiving Sent Ones During Re-entry, by Zach Bradley

Up next:

  • The Bible Tells Me So, by Peter Enns
  • Receiving Them Well, by Lisa Ennis & Lori Bryan
  • Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith