Through Furlough Replacement
2000 Years Ago
a church-planting missionary named Paul lamented about a
church in Philippi. He had been forced to leave before it was
ready to be on its own. He had labored and loved and was
concerned that all the Lord had accomplished through him
would be lost or corrupted.
His heartfelt cry has echoed down through the ages as
countless other missionaries have agonized with him: “For I have no
man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not
the things which are Jesus Christ's” (Phil. 2:20-
Today, missionaries are often forced to choose
between leaving their young church without
competent leadership, or staying on the field
long past their normal term.
Leaving means exposing the church to cults,
petty jealousies among young Christians and
other problems that can arise in a authority and
Staying means not raising needed support or losing existing support. It can
be hard on health and emotional well being of family members. Furloughs are
needed and biblical. (Acts 14:26-28)
This lack of logistical support has resulted in diminished and damaged church plants
as well as injured relationships and burnt out missionaries.