|WHY SHOULD WE SUPPORT THE
MINISTRY OF THE PHILGREENS?
OR ANY WESTERNER FOR THAT MATTER?
I'd like to raise a few issues that I believe are very important in considering any missionary endeavor. These thoughts include strategy, multiplication, the cost of sending a westerner as a missionary, the use of technology, return on investment, and diversification.
The task of the Great Commission is huge. As we look at what still needs to be done, we must see the big picture and think strategically. Will the missionary we send be spinning his wheels or will he fill a strategic role? This is a tricky question and, of course, can't always be answered by numbers. But every investor wants a return on his investment, and we need to carefully think in those terms in regard to missions giving.
When we were living totally off of support, I was often distressed by the amount of money it took to support me and my family. When all the costs are added up, it is a terribly expensive proposition to send any western missionary anywhere. By contrast, a national worker can be supported in many countries for a small fraction of that cost. So why send the westerner? Good question. Again, we must think strategy. In the west we have had the blessing of education, training, and technology that are just not available in many parts of the world. We have things to offer that are of immense value, but they need to be applied in concert with the efforts of nationals in most cases in today's missions scenarios. So, what is that westerner going to be doing? Is it worth the equivalent of the support of two, four, maybe ten nationals? If it is a job that a national can do, it probably isn't. But if it is training or another strategic job that will multiply the efforts of everyone involved many times over, then absolutely it's worth it.
We are excited to see how God is already using the proven tool of video such as within the ministries of Campus Crusade for Christ. The message of the Gospel, training in discipleship, recruitment of workers, reports to donors, and other messages are multiplied hundreds and thousands of times through TV broadcasts and easily-duplicated videotapes. Thousands of public school teachers all over Russia have been and continue to be trained to use the JESUS Film and a specially developed curriculum in their classrooms using a video series I had the privilege of directing in Volgograd in April of '93. This multiplied the efforts of the training teams and can go on even if the door to westerners is closed once again.
Technology must be applied to the great commission because of the great power to multiply a message and multiply the efforts of many people. The multiplication factor of video will be multiplied yet again as we train other missionary communicators to use the tools of video.
Our ministry is rather unconventional. Though we are based in the Orlando area, the work takes us all over the globe. I believe our ministry offers your "portfolio" of supported missionaries diversification. We will provide a different angle by which to see what God is doing in a number of different countries and a chance to have a part in a powerful multiplication strategy. I sincerely hope you will consider supporting us. I have great confidence that you will not be disappointed.
Dan & Esther Philgreen
Copyright ©1998 by Dan Philgreen - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED