A young lady recently emailed Dick Brogden with a question about teaching missionary kids in the Arab world. Should she come as a missionary on support or look for paid teaching position?
Hello, Mr. Brogden,
I am a university student majoring in elementary education. I was on a Chi Alpha trip to Cairo and we spoke about the possibility of teaching missionary kids (MKs) overseas. I’m interested in more information and I’m definitely interested in working with Live Dead, but I’m not sure if that means working at a training center or in a church planting team.
Right now, I’m not sure where I will be when I graduate next May, whether I will be looking for a paid job or support raising for funds. I will have some debt from loans, which makes me lean towards the paid job, but I would love information regarding both. Any details you could give me would be great.
Some questions I have:
- What are the pros and cons of going on support versus taking a paid position?
- Would a paid job be more or less secure than a full support appointment?
Thank you so much for talking to me about this and helping me figure this out.
Most likely if you came with Live Dead, you would work with a training team as we want you to have the right foundation for long-term missions.
One option to consider is taking a paid job for a year or two to pay off your loans, and then joining a Live Dead team fully. You can always associate with a Live Dead team, but honestly the schedule of a full-time job and the schedule of a Live Dead team cannot be married. They are both full-time jobs.
Pros of going on support:
- You can join a Live Dead training team (full accountability and involvement).
- You have flexibility in location and can go where you feel called.
- You are part of a team that encourages proclamation rather than part of a business that fears it.
- You raise more prayer support (heart and prayers follow treasure).
- You could still teach MKs (at our home school co-op, for example).
- You can spend considerable time in language learning.
Pros of taking a job:
- Debt can be paid quickly.
- Sponsoring agency provides visa.
- Identity is less ambiguous.
- Natural relationships developed in the community.
Cons of going on support:
- Debt load: Can it be managed?
- Takes a little more time (initially)
Cons of taking a job:
- Little time or energy for language
- Little encouragement to being a proclaimer
- Limited opportunity to interact with Live Dead team
- Schedule determined by employer
Over time, full support appointment is more secure. This does not mean geographically—you may get kicked out of a country—but full support lets you go anywhere and do anything as the Lord and leadership allow. If by security you mean safety, a job is probably more secure, but for a negative reason—you probably will be less empowered to proclaim. It is proclamation of the gospel in the end that will be risky. All internationals abroad are vulnerable to attacks these days so what tips the balance of security ultimately is whether or not you witness.
My opinion is, if you can manage your debt payment on full time support, that is a better way to go. If not, you may want to take a job for a few years and pay off debt, then move to full support and come as an AGWM missionary with Live Dead at that time.