Question about Funding for missionaries:
"Can teams going overseas together raise support collectively with each family drawing from the main pot?"
"Certainly, but with caution."
This is a method used by some organizations, but the issues need to be carefully discussed and clarified before going to the field. Some missionaries are better getting people to invest in God's work than others. If all can agree that all efforts contribute to the pool, and each dips into that pool according to their need, it will work. However, the needs, wants, and wishes of every person differ. The early church in the book of Acts pooled their resources, and this worked until Ananias and Sapphira came along (Acts 5) and the Greek widows found their needs neglected (Acts 6).
"It’s a recipe for conflict."
With all the charity in the world, I cannot think of a more certain way to generate instant conflict. I personally enjoy immensely the freedom my co-workers and I maintain by keeping everything separate. Even then, we have disagreements, but fewer things about which to disagree!
"Let each one serve according to his or her gifts."
It could be an excellent way for the team to learn to function prior to heading to the field. Nothing shows a person's maturity like how they deal with money issues – from raising money to spending it.
Each team member has his or her gifting. One might be able to ask for support, another for practical help. Another could send thank you notes, cards and letters along the way. One might maintain the donor database and another manage the banking. Let each member serve according to the grace and gifting they've received from God.
Challenging, sure! But what's wrong with challenges?
"Unity in Christ is powerful."
It depends on the size and depth of the team(s) and the area you desire to serve. Prayer is key to everything - after prayer make a plan and stick to it. Team trips often help unify the local church body and community to fulfill a call that everyone will benefit from, if not during this lifetime, then in the world to come. Jesus taught the body, as did Paul to be in unity and this has been a theme throughout the Bible. Division, strife and "not doing anything" does not come from God. Search his word, pray and make a plan - God will see the rest to completion.
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