Serving As Senders Today by Neal Pirolo 

Serving as Senders Today is a guide for missionaries to instruct them how to raise a support team before going on the mission field and a guide for that support team to instruct them how to effectively support their missionary in several areas: moral support, logistics support, financial support, prayer support, communication support, and re-entry support. (Available from

Well Sent: Reimagining the Church's Missionary-Sending Process by Steve Beirn with George W. Murray

Beirn examines the need within evangelical churches to embrace the role of missionary senders by developing a strong global focus. He goes on to discuss the role of the sending church and the relationship that should be maintained between the sending church and the missions agency.

Mind the Gaps: Engaging the Church in Missionary Care by Trinity Church Missionary Care Team, David J. Wilson, DMin general editor

Mind the Gaps is an exceptional, practical guide to creating a vibrant missionary care team within a sending church. This book touches on the beginnings of forming a team and formulating a philosophy of ministry as well as discussing how to develop a relationship between the team and your missionaries, how to make connections between your missionaries and your congregation, and how to meet the needs (spiritual, emotional, and practical) of your missionaries. An absolute must-read for anyone interested in developing a missionary care team, this book also has a related website with further resources:

Senders: How Your Church Can Identify, Train and Deploy Missionaries by Paul Seger

Seger gives an outstanding, Scripturally-based overview of how to be a missions-minded church by discussing the cost of missions and how a strong missions focus benefits the local church, explaining the role of the missions agency in supporting the local church and things to consider in choosing a missions agency, giving ideas about how to identify and train future missionaries, examining issues surrounding finances and support-raising as well as the importance of prayer support, and presenting thoughts on how to raise awareness of missions in a sending church.

What Pastors Need to Know About Caring for Missionaries by Paracletos - available for free as an e-book download here

This is an excellent, brief introduction to missionary care that gives an explanation of what missionary care is, why it is important, and what the pastor's role is in missionary care.

Missionary Member Care: An Introduction by Ronald Kotesky - available for free as an e-book download here

Kotesky explains what member care is, examines missionary care in the Bible and through church history, describes how to become a member care provider, and provides insight into the how, when, and where of member care along with information about further resources on member care.

Too Valuable to Lose: Exploring the Causes and Cures of Missionary Attrition edited by William D. Taylor

For those who desire a more in-depth, academic study of the causes of missionary attrition, Too Valuable to Lose provides the results of the Reducing Missionary Attrition Project (ReMAP), a study done from 1994-1996 to identify the causes of missionary attrition and explore solutions, and an analysis of those results with recommendations for best practice in missionary selection, training, and care in order to minimize preventable attrition.

Worth Keeping: Global Perspectives of Best Practice in Missionary Retention by Rob Hay et al

Worth Keeping follows up from Too Valuable to Lose with the findings of Retaining Missionaries: Agency Practices (ReMAP II), a study done from 2002-2004. Shifting focus from reducing preventable attrition to increasing missionary retention, Worth Keeping analyzes which practices can reduce turnover and improve effectiveness of cross-cultural workers. 

Trauma & Resilience: A Handbook edited by Frauke C. Schaefer, MD and Charles A. Schaefer, PhD

Trauma & Resilience is comprised of a collection of personal stories of those who have experienced trauma in ministry and a series of articles with resources to help support those who have been through trauma. The articles discuss typical reactions to trauma in adults and children, the importance of community in the healing journey, stress management practices which promote resilience, the management of severe traumatic stress, spiritual resources for dealing with trauma, and the healing impact of prayer. 

Global Member Care volume 1: The Pearls and Perils of Good Practice by Kelly O'Donnell

Volume one of the Global Member Care series is designed to equip member care providers with knowledge and skills for good practice. O'Donnell begins by recounting the history of member care, sharing the experiences of missionaries from newer sending countries, and describing areas to be considered in light of the changing face of world missions. He then goes on to examine dysfunction in the missions setting, healthy relationships and relational resiliency, principles of good governance, ethical issues in member care, and guidelines for ethical practice.

Global Member Care volume 2: Crossing Sectors for Serving Humanity edited by Kelly O'Donnell and Michele Lewis O'Donnell

Volume two of the Global Member Care series explains the value in member care workers in the missions sector collaborating with and learning from others who work in the humanitarian sector, the human health sector, and the human resource sector. Part one gives an overview of "the relevance, key concepts, and experience of crossing sectors," while parts two through four contains articles on good practice in each of the sectors examined. Each chapter ends with a list of related resources for further study. 

Doing Member Care Well: Perspectives and Practices from Around the World edited by Kelly O'Donnell

A compilation of fifty articles written by member care professionals around the world, Doing Member Care Well includes guidelines for member care, personal accounts, case studies, and resources. The book is available for free in four parts to download or print from the World Evangelical Alliance website.

The Re-entry Team by Neal Pirolo (Available from

The Reentry Team, an essential guide for receiving missionaries well, is divided into three sections. Pirolo begins by explaining the need for a cooperative relationship between a sending church and the missions agency, describing the scriptural foundation for a church to receive its missionaries well, and delineating the main areas of concern that can complicate the re-entry process. The bulk of the book contains the re-entry stories of missionaries, which are examined in light of the issues of re-entry that had been described in section one. The final section contains a series of articles and a list of resources on re-entry.

Receiving Them Well: A Guide on How to Support Your Loved One Returning From Humanitarian Aid or Missionary Work by Lisa Ennis and Lori Bryan is an excellent, short book that helps folks back 'home' understand a bit of what overseas workers are going through when they return to the US. It gives lots of practical ideas of ways to help, questions to ask, and things not to do or say.

Tender Care: Providing Pastoral Care for God's Global Servants by Reagon Wilson, David Kronbach and others of the Barnabas International Resource Development Team

Tender Care, written for "those who sense the prompting of God to encourage the spiritual growth and care of God's scattered kingdom servants," uses the illustration of the care a "tender" gives to a commercial deep sea diver to show the need for similar diligent, ongoing care for cross-cultural workers. It begins by considering the character needed in a tender and the challenges faced by cross-cultural workers before discussing what pastoral care is and what it looks like at the various stages of a missionary's service. Following an excellent description of risk and suffering in missions, the questions of how to walk with someone through affliction and how to assess a missionary's needs are addressed. Finally, attention is drawn to the importance of cooperation between a church and missions agency and the role of each. There are frequent references in the book to the Member Care Toolbox, a collection of resources on a variety of missions issues, available as free downloads on the Barnabas International website.

Honourably Wounded by Marjory Foyle 

Foyle opens by considering recent changes in missions and then goes on to discuss stress, depression, and culture shock in a missions context and how to care for cross-cultural workers, addressing issues like interpersonal relationships, occupational stress, bereavements, singleness, marriage, parenthood, burnout, PTSD, and re-entry stress. Foyle concludes by describing the role of the missionary care worker during the selection process and while missionaries are on the field. 

Training Missionaries: Principles and Possibilities by Evelyn and Richard Hibbert

Missionaries, Mental Health, & Accountability: Support Systems in Churches and Agencies edited by Jonathan J. Bonk, J. Nelson Jennings, Jinbong Kim, and Jae Soon Lee

Equipped and Effective: Practical Ideas and Tools for Coming Alongside Cross-Cultural Workers by Lois McMartin

The Missionary Family: Witness, Concerns, Care edited by Dwight P. Baker and Robert J. Priest

Missionary Care: Counting the Cost for World Evangelization edited by Kelly O'Donnell - available free online here

Caring for Missionaries on Furlough by Barnabas International

Praying for Your Missionary: How Prayers from Home Can Reach the Nations by Eddie Byun

Caring for the Harvest Force in the New Millennium edited by Tom A. Steffen and F. Douglas Pennoyer


Helping Missionaries Grow: Readings in Mental Health and Missions edited by Kelly S. O'Donnell and Michele Lewis O'Donnell - available free online here

Evangelical Missions Quarterly - an online magazine on missions


For Further Suggestions:

Member Care Associates has a list of over one hundred books on member care along with links to other lists of member care books and articles.

From Every Nation has a list of journals and periodicals related to world missions and the global church.