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Don’t think you can’t join in ministry because God hasn’t given you the ability to “go”. As an advocate and encourager, you are a tangible presence in the lives of your missionaries. Please consider strongly the possibility of joining in the task of taking the Gospel to the unreached.
“A person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy.”
Advocates are a very important part of missions. Because missionaries are overseas for long periods of time with only short amounts of time back in their home country, it is crucial to have individuals speaking on their behalf and preparing listeners for the missionary’s next visit.
First and foremost, advocates need to have contacts. The primary job of an advocate is finding people to help and support missionaries. An advocate spends much of his ministry time boldly speaking on the behalf of missionaries.
This job is not one to be taken on lightly. An advocate must invest time into becoming familiar with the ministry of the missionaries he/she supports. This means keeping up to date with their prayer requests, financial situation, ministerial direction, gifting, and almost every other aspect of the missionary’s job.
An advocate bears a heavy burden, but if you feel like God has given you a gift at connecting with people and that you would be willing to use those relationships to help support a missionary you are a rare and crucial part of a missionary’s team.
While an advocate is similar to the role of an encourager, an advocates primary goal is the promotion of the ministry, rather than the encouragement of the ministers.
An encourager is someone who is willing to invest by staying in communication, praying, and being an emotional support to the missionaries. Living overseas, it’s easy to feel forgotten, become discouraged in ministry, etc. While we primarily find our encouragement in Christ, our brothers and sisters are also a huge source of encouragement and comfort!