While not necessarily missionary furlough examples, missionaries would do well to consider the purposefulness of communication from Paul when he was preparing to visit churches and individuals (Romans 15:24, 1 Corinthians 16:5 and Philemon 22). Upon examination, we see two spiritual gifts in tethers of connection between missionaries and those whom love and support them.
Administrations (1 Corinthians 12:28)
Questions pre-field missionaries and the home church to discuss:
- Is it important to keep any children on an educational schedule?
- Considering what goals are to be accomplished on furlough, then ask: how much time is needed to accomplish those goals?
- Are there certain times of the year ministry patterns, or weather, make it better to travel?
- Is vacation part of furlough, making it at least partially restful and refreshing? The other option is furlough is part of the labor and getting away happens in the host country.
- How much, if any, funds should be regularly set into a furlough account.
Whirlough: this is typically two or three weeks every year.
Short: many missionaries find six to eight weeks every two years to be about right.
Full: taking six to 12 months for furlough every three to five years is a tried and true pattern.
Hospitality (3 John 1:5-8)
Stiring up the gifts within the home church and larger body of Christ to help God's global ambassadors and therefore serve His global endeavors.