Communication between a missionary and a leader of their home church is a crucial component of what Sending Well is all about. When missionaries report in on how and what they’re doing on a regular basis, and they receive a timely reply from a leader in their home church, (regardless of length), they are encouraged spiritually and emotionally.
Regardless of the current level of communication between a missionary and a leader of their home church, the need has never been greater for churches and their missionaries to jointly develop a Regular Communication Plan (RCP) that can help minimize the impact of a crisis event that could envelop the missionary or threaten their ministry.
RCP (Regular Communication Plan) defined:
A mutually developed and agreed upon communication plan in which the regularity of the correspondence lays the foundation for a church leader to be alerted to the possibility that a crisis event may have come upon their missionary.
KEY ELEMENTS OF AN RCP
Modes of communication
Email is the most common and usually most reliable mode of communication.
A simple Gmail account, whether accessed through a VPN or not, can be more reliable and possibly even more secure, (raising fewer suspicions) than the less common “secret” email providers.
Texting, Skype, Facetime, etc. are also options, but may be better suited as options for the Potential Crisis Communication Plan, (described below).
Discuss the mode of communication with your remote worker to agree upon what is best for the worker and their role as an extension of your church.
Our ministry recommends that the missionary generate the RCP check-in message at least twice per month, on the day of the week that works best for their location and circumstances.
For example: The first and third Wednesday of each month, with the time difference taken in to account
Until the routine is established, it’s helpful for both the missionary and the church representative to set an alert on their phones or computers as a reminder.
The content should be at least one sentence, but could be longer. Although the RCP is primarily for safety/security, it can and should be a tether of communication that ignites more regular and meaningful communication between the missionary and the church representative/church leadership.
Plan of action if RCP check-in message is not received
A previously agreed upon response should be initiated by the church representative, if the check-in message is not received. Whether it’s by email, text, audio call, or through a trusted local individual, the church representative will attempt to contact the missionary.
–If the missionary responds, they can explain the cause of their failing to follow the RCP, and things will go back to normal
–If there is no response within 24 hours of the inquiry being sent, the church representative should initiate the Potential Crisis Communication Plan (click here), following the agreed upon steps developed by the missionary.
Regardless of whether a missionary or a leader in their home church gets the ball rolling to develop a Regular Communication Plan, the process of actually creating it will deepen the tethers of connection between them AND serve as a wise step of stewardship should a crisis event strike.
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