What it costs to support your missionary

Tags: International Office, Missionary Care, Missions at Home, PDF

Figuring out support costs for your missionary can be hard for a donor or a missions committee. It seems confusing because mission agencies don’t divide up the support package in the same way. We all know missionaries who don’t have the funds for medical emergencies, or can’t afford school tuition for their children, or struggle with enough money in retirement. SEND’s goal is to provide an adequate but modest income based on the real cost of living in the country where each missionary works.

SEND places high value on keeping our missionaries healthy and on educating missionary children in the best way possible. We also want our retirees to be self-sufficient so you can release your support money to another, younger missionary. If you have any questions about how SEND handles your missionary’s support, please feel free to call or email us.

Financial Needs

  • Salary:  A modest but adequate amount to meet living expenses. Salary is related to family needs, regardless of position. SEND makes periodic adjustments to reflect changes in cost of living and fluctuation in currency exchange rates. An increment is added to salary each year after age 38 to meet increased living costs and help with retirement plans. Salary also includes Social Security or Canada Pension Plan.
  • Work Expense: Ministry expenses such as evangelism materials and travel.
  • Housing: Rented or mission-owned.
  • Medical and Pension: Medical insurance, life insurance, and retirement plan.
  • MK Education: School costs for overseas children.
  • Travel:  The cost of missionary travel to and from the area of ministry, taking into account the possibility of emergency travel to a missionary's home country.
  • International Administration: Establishes the SEND mission and vision, provides training for ministry, maintains metrics for evaluation of ministry, and provides coaching, supervision and accountability to meet end goals.
  • Home Administration: Services provided by the home offices: receipting of contributions; provision of media resources; management of health, retirement, and disability plans; ministry training; recruitment of team members; development of financial resources, etc. This amount provides about 1/3 of the home office operational costs.

*Current individual need charts are available for each SEND missionary on request.

Faith principle

The members of SEND look to the Lord to fully supply their needs. The work of SEND depends entirely on God’s gracious provision.

Local church principle

The local church sets apart and commissions missionaries to service. SEND respects that special relationship between the sending church and its missionaries.

Partnership principle

God achieves his purposes through his people. SEND is grateful for the many friends who support SEND missionaries and seeks to strengthen its partnership with them.

Faith promise principle

Support or faith promises from churches and individuals inform SEND of support intentions. The faith promises are not contracts and are not legally binding. This information helps SEND determine if a missionary has enough financial backing to leave. Faith promise cards are available on request.

Jurisdictional principle

The laws relating to finances established by the governments where SEND members live and work are carefully applied to both mission and personal finances.

Voluntary disclosure principle

Anyone who writes or calls SEND International can receive details of SEND International’s Constitution, doctrinal statement, operating policies and procedures, financial audit reports, or any other information.