Reliable statistics on evangelical missionary endeavours has always been of interest to me as I was pleased to read reliable data when the merging of two large American evangelical organisations was announced some time ago.
This report stated: "...on October 1, the memberships of CrossGlobal Link (formerly IFMA) and The Mission Exchange (formerly EFMA) agreed to merge, forming a body representative of 35,000 evangelical missionaries deployed in every country by more than 190 agencies and churches in North America."
This report gave him an opportunity to reveal that a huge number of evangelical missionaries are living by faith financial support, within just two of many mission societies.
I cannot imagine how many there are worldwide, but it illustrates the astonishing daily miracle whereby the Lord's people are providing for such Gospel outcomes.
Determining what the term "faith financial support" actually means is important. It does not include those who are being supported by their superannuation, nor those financially supported by a church or a denomination.
It specifically relates to those missionaries, both home and serving overseas, whose income for their family and ministry is provided by a network of financial supporters.
There are many other faith financed missionary societies and individual missionary couples who live in this same manner, and from figures ascertained from elsewhere over many years, the number for the USA alone is around 137,000 out of a population of 300 million (about 0.005% of total number of US citizens)
In Australia, there are around 3000 couple evangelical missionaries living by faith finances out of a total population of some 22 million (a little more than 0.01%)
We have followed this 'faith financed' model developed over centuries by Christians who followed Jesus words of going out and trusting Him.
We have been living by faith financial support in this manner for 42 years and we produce a monthly newsletter keeping our support network updated on their ministry.
Our monthly newsletter for many years now is 75% photos keeping in focus how people today watch television (visual) and their mobile phones (visual). Gone are the days when a newsletter might be several long articles - these are now in dedicated on-line blog formats.
It has all changed - our mission board recently used video on WhatsApp. It worked like a charm.
A recent conversation with the lady at a local Tweed Heads petrol station as I placed my iphone ‘wallet’ screen to pay for the fuel – I said my son put this on for me, and this lady said, her daughter put her’s onto to her iphone too – and we both marvelled how easy it was to pay bills now – supermarket, petrol station, fruit shop, bible book shop.... whatever.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award, The Gutenberg.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html