What Can a Missionary Advocate Do For You?

Mr. Eng from North Carolina arranged this meal with Lutherans from All Saints Lutheran Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Mr. Eng from North Carolina arranged this meal with Lutherans from All Saints Lutheran Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Let Me Introduce Mr. Eggert

Mr. Doug Eggert

Mr. Doug Eggert

Meet Mr. Doug Eggert. Sometime in 2016, we received information about a church that wanted to learn more about our work and potentially sponsor the Askins in Asia. I proposed a Zoom chat, and we were introduced to Mr. Eggert.

While, I don’t think Mr. Eggert has been given any official title at Immanuel Lutheran Church, he has served as our advocate. We organized the first Zoom chat through Mr. Eggert. We did a test run of the Zoom chat with him. He has organized subsequent video chats. He records videos of school children singing happy birthday to our children.

Mr. Eggert continues to advocate for us with the pastor and people of Immanuel Lutheran Church. The people of Immanuel are eager to support us, and Mr. Eggert works to shepherd their zeal in the right direction.

In other words, he has served as our Missionary Advocate to the Lutherans of Simpsonville, South Carolina.

Another Missionary Called

You just received a call from a missionary. He wants to visit your church and present about his work in foreign lands. Now, you’ve recently read articles about the LCMS’s Network Supported Missionary model, and you know that missionaries return home on a regular basis for Home Service to reconnect with supporters.

But you also know that preparing for a missionary visit takes work. The congregation has to be asked and notified. You've got to make sure people show up for the presentation and have all the necessary information. During his presentation, the missionary will probably ask the church to support him.

This means that the work does not stop after the missionary visits. You will have further conversations about support. You have to keep the missionary before the congregation regularly in prayers and conversations lest parishioners forget about him and why you’re supporting him.

On the one hand, you want to support him. You can’t imagine the difficulty of traveling to raise support for your work. On the other hand, you’re not keen to add more work to your plate or other church leaders.

Appoint a Missionary Advocate

If the work of supporting a missionary seems daunting to you, consider appointing a Mr. Eggert. You might call this person a Missionary Propagandist, though Missionary Advocate might work better. If you have an evangelism or missions board, they might already be doing some of these functions, but there’s value in having a dedicated person fulfilling this role.

A missionary advocate (MA) will have organizational skills so that important deadlines do not get missed or forgotten. An MA delights in hearing about and supporting the international mission of the church (some international experience helps). Finally, passion is a plus.

The missionary advocate might keep your missionary before the congregation in a number of ways. The advocate might*:

  • Act as the main contact for the missionary
  • Help organize and prepare for the missionary to visit
  • Make sure announcements about the visit make it into the bulletin
  • Share announcements about the missionary on Sunday morning
  • Ensures the newsletters get printed and distributed to the congregation
  • Reminds the congregation and congregational members to pray for the missionary regularly
  • Advocates for the missionary in congregational meetings
  • Helps organize fundraisers and support projects
  • Maintains regular contact with missionary and facilitates video calls with the congregation, if possible
  • Can you think of anything I missed? Let me know.

A missionary advocate helps prevent missionary support from falling through the cracks of a vigorous congregational life. Incidentally, it might be worthwhile to consider sending the missionary advocate to visit your missionary in the field after a couple of years as a thank you.

The Takeaway

A missionary advocate can provide a great way to support a missionary without adding another task to the plate of the pastor, secretary, or missions board.

I’m currently working on a packet of information for Missionary Advocates on the many ways your congregation can support a missionary. In the meantime, subscribe to the Askins in Asia newsletter to get more information about supporting a missionary from my blog here.


* Please adapt this list to meet the local needs of your congregation. I very much doubt a Missionary Advocate will be able to do everything on this list; it simply provides a list of possibilities.

Some June Pictures

Howdy folks. We've been busy traveling through Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, and Oklahoma for the last 3–4 weeks. We're putting together our June newsletter, and we hope to have it up soon. In the meantime, enjoy these pictures as a short update. More to come soon.

A Week of Rain Showers

Immanuel Lutheran Church, Fairview, Texas

The last week (and a half) has swept past us. On April 12, I had the privilege of preaching and teaching at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Fairview, Texas.

Immanuel Lutheran Church, Fairview, Texas

Immanuel Lutheran Church, Fairview, Texas

Looking back on the past reveals how the dots connected to form the picture of the present. In the journey toward becoming the missionary I (and my family) have become, Immanuel Lutheran Church is the first big dot. My parents, siblings, and I helped to start the congregation, beginning with stacking and unstacking chairs at the library, to folding and unfolding chairs in a school gym, and culminating in the building they now use. All the while, whether in the library, the gym, or a beautifully renovated sanctuary, God continued to deliver His gifts in Word and Sacrament. And He sustained the church through thick and thin, and He continues to strengthen and sustain them even now.

At Immanuel Lutheran Church

At Immanuel Lutheran Church

Victory in Christ, Newark, Texas

Next, we headed to Victory in Christ, Newark Texas. Not only did we get to spend some time with some wonderful friends, Pr. Ogrodowicz and his family, but we also enjoyed a delightful meal with the congregation he serves, Victory in Christ, Newark, Texas.

Victory in Christ Lutheran Church, Newark, Texas

Victory in Christ Lutheran Church, Newark, Texas

During the presentation, we discussed the many ways in which Christ is sending His gospel to the four corners of the world. His Word and Grace, the refreshing, passing rainshower that now showers us, encouraged and delighted the wonderful people of Victory in Christ who desire to continue sharing this Word and Grace with the world.

Teaching at Victory in Christ

Teaching at Victory in Christ

Messiah Lutheran Classical Academy

Then, on Wednesday April 15th, I preached and presented for the students of Messiah Lutheran Classical Academy. What a well-catechized academy. Not only did they recite the Third Article of the Creed in Latin during worship, but they knew the explanations to the Creed and often finished from memory the Bible passages I started.

Messiah Lutheran Classical Academy

Messiah Lutheran Classical Academy

The fifth through eigthth graders and I had a great discussion after chapel. We talked about how to use the Creed to speak about what we believe, and they also got to see how life in Hong Kong can be different from life in the United States.

Messiah Lutheran Church and Classical Academy

Messiah Lutheran Church and Classical Academy

The Edge Coffeehouse

Later on that Wednesday, after a delightful supper at Firehouse Subs, my family and I were hosted by the Edge Coffeehouse in Lake Worth, Texas.

The Edge Coffeehouse, Lake Worth, Texas

The Edge Coffeehouse, Lake Worth, Texas

Not only did we receive some wonderful coffee (which I spent most of the presentation attempting to clean out of my mustache and beard because I enjoyed it so much), but they also graciously hearkened to the work of the LCMS in Asia and beyond.

Finally, they helped us wrangle wayward children who found it more fun to run around the coffeehouse, both inside and out, than to stick around and listen to adults talk.

Our Family at The Edge

Our Family at The Edge

Holy Shepherd Lutheran Church, Haslet, Texas

The week closed with an opportunity to preach and teach on Sunday, April 19th, at Holy Shepherd Lutheran Church in Haslet Texas.

Holy Shepherd Lutheran Church, Haslet, Texas

Holy Shepherd Lutheran Church, Haslet, Texas

A well-catechized congregation, they listened as I discussed the First, Second, and Third Article gifts of Jesus, and how the LCMS uses the First Article gifts it receives to deliver the Second Article gifts through Third Article means. (If that’s a confusing sentence, you should invite me to come present at your church!)

In the sermon, they heard how our Lord’s direction to go and proclaim repentance and the forgiveness of sins in all the world finds its fulfillment in the work of Christ through His church, in both witness and mercy.

Don't miss VBS if you're in or near Haslet, Texas

Don't miss VBS if you're in or near Haslet, Texas

Thank You

Thank you to all the churches and schools that hosted us over the last week. We appreciate it and look forward to staying in contact with you more over the weeks, months, and years ahead. God’s richest blessings to you as you receive His gifts and share His gifts with others.

Looking Ahead

If you’re interested in catching us (or maybe just me), here is where we will be over the next week.

On Thursday, April 22, I will present at a Bible Class of Hope Lutheran Church in Friendswood, Texas. The presentation is a 9:00 AM, and the address is below. Also check out their website for more information.

Address:
1804 S Friendswood
Dr. Friendswood, TX 77546

Website: hope-lutheran.org

Finally, Sunday, April 26, you will be able to find the whole family at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Westfield, Texas. I will present during the Bible class that starts at 8:30 AM.

Address:
21434 East Hardy Rd.
Houston, Texas 77073

Website: stmatthewlcms.com

Come on over and join us at any time!


Partner With Us

If you would like to partner with us in the work of sharing Christ in Asia, click here. If you'd like to learn more about our work, send an email (roy.askins@lcmsintl.org) or click here

Credo in Spiritum Sanctum

What a privilege to join the students of Messiah Lutheran Classical Academy today. They recited the 8th, 9th, and 10th Commandments with explanations, along with a number of Bible passages. They also recited the Third Article of the Apostles' Creed—in Latin! What a blessing MLCA has been and will be for these young minds. 

Messiah Lutheran Classical Academy

Messiah Lutheran Classical Academy

In addition to sharing chapel with them, I had the opportunity to share with them the mission work of our Synod abroad. We talked about the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd article gifts of Jesus, and I shared how the Creed, even in Latin, provides the ideal means of speaking about what we believe, teach, and confess. 

We had a great conversation; they asked some great questions and gave many great answers. They knew most of the Bible passages I brought up by heart. They were eager and attentive. What a wonderful group of students.

Messiah Lutheran Church

Messiah Lutheran Church

In addition to sharing about our mission work in Asia, I also had the opportunity to preach on 1 Samuel 3:1–20. I'll post the sermon soon. 

Thank you, Messiah Lutheran Church and Messiah Lutheran Classical Academy for hosting me. God's blessings be with you students as He prepares you to use the First Article gift of your mind to serve your neighbor and share the message of Christ and Him crucified (Second Article) and how the Holy Spirit shares delivers this forgiveness (Third Article). And God's blessings be with you teachers as you form these children into attentive, faithful neighbors. 


A Gospel Rain Shower in Newark, Texas

We arrived after a rain shower to discuss how the Gospel is rain shower.

We arrived after a rain shower to discuss how the Gospel is rain shower.

We spent yesterday evening with the saints of God at Victory in Christ Lutheran Church, Newark, TX. They provided us with an excellent meal of spaghetti and meatballs and brought someone to watch our little ones while I presented about what Lutheran mission work in Asia looks like. 

Our conversation meandered through numerous topics, but we spent some time talking about how the Word of God and His grace now rains down upon us as a passing rain shower. We agreed that now is the time for The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod to go forth proclaiming the pure forgiving Word of God, and how the LCMS is in a unique position to help Lutheranism around the world. 

The Saints of Victory in Christ Lutheran Church, Newark, Texas

The Saints of Victory in Christ Lutheran Church, Newark, Texas

The conversation delighted me, and I look forward to many more. 

Thank you members of Victory in Christ Lutheran Church, Newark, Texas. May the Gospel continue to rain upon you as you delight and revel God's Word delivered to you in preaching and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.