M2M News & Articles
October 27, 2018
What I'm Seeing... On Burnt Out Missionaries
by Dermot Westcott
Missionary Attrition, as I discover from my various readings taken from two surveys conducted by the World Evangelical Alliance Missions Commission (WEA), effects many parts of a missionaries life. Early on in my readings of WEA's Remap 1 report, I found myself looking up the word “attrition”. Here is the definition according to dictionary.com.
- a reduction or decrease in numbers, size, or strength.
- a wearing down or weakening of resistance, esp. as a result of continuous pressure or harassment.
- a gradual reduction in work force without firing of personnel, as when workers resign or retire and are not replaced.
Sorry, I don't mean to beat the definition to death but we just need to get that point. The way I figure it, nutrition is the opposite of attrition. One nurtures and provides sustenance and growth; the other slowly starves one to death. ReMap 1, from my point of view, successfully addresses the reasons this is such a serious problem in the world of missionaries worldwide.
The issues that contribute to attrition are complex. Too complex to identify a simple solution that will fix all those affected by it's sting. For my purposes, I hope to discover the reasons for attrition that was identified in the report, and hopefully during the course, shed some light on what you and I can pray about.
Seven Areas of Attrition:
- a clear call from God
- poor relationships
- supportive family
- spiritual health
- cultural adaptation
- pastoral care
- financial provision