Ten Steps To The Mission Field
How to get from your local church to the harvest fields…
Every serious candidate for missions service wants to know the steps that he will need to take to get to his missions field. Some people try to go without good preparation, others don’t really know what to do next, others ask how to do all the things that are necessary so that they can be successful.
The following “Ten Steps To The Mission Field” should help you understand the process of becoming a missionary. Remember that some of the steps may overlap or happen in your situation in a different order.
1. Get A Call From God…! The most important step of all is to hear a call from the Lord of the Harvest that you are to go to the fields. Without a call from God you cannot possibly succeed.
If you are married and get a call from God, then your spouse will also be called, or you did not hear from God!
How do you know when you have a call from God? You KNOW, that’s all…! You may not know for sure, that is why you must “make you calling and election sure”. Your pastor and elders will help you with this, TALK to them, share your heart, get their help. PRAY! PRAY! PRAY! If you think you have a call, you probably do…! You just need to make sure.
2. Find out what country or people group…! This may not always be precise, but God will give you a burden for a country or a people group sooner or later. One GREAT way to find out is to start praying for different countries and people groups every day. When a people or a country makes you interested, go get some information about it. GET BUSY! Ask God! Do Some Research! Start Here!
When you know the people or country, then you will have a better idea of what sending agency will be best prepared to train and assist you to fulfill your call. PRAY!
3. Contact SEAMIST and other agencies…! Every mission agency has a process that will help you sort out your call and decide if they are the right mission sending agency for you. SEAMIST has a “Preliminary Questionnaire” that we use to get to know you. Just filling it out will help you to think about your call to missions. Most of the questions on these kinds of forms are simple data about you and your background. The mission agency will usually respond to you with advice and more questions! PRAY!
4. Get needed information and make a decision! Get all the information you can about the missions agency and their people. What countries do they work in? What is their doctrine? What methods are used? What training and support do they give? What requirements do they have for missionaries? ASK…!
Most agencies have a website or brochures that help with this. Phone calls to the director or to office staff will help, e-mails with your questions can be used. READ! PRAY! Make visits, learn all you can. Then, after discussing it with your pastors and advisors, if the Lord is in it, DECIDE to join that mission. Take action. PRAY SOME MORE!
5. Complete and send in the Application…! As soon as you, your pastor, and the Holy Spirit agree that you should join, complete and send in the application and get all the necessary referrals completed and sent in. That way the mission can call you in for an interview and approve your appointment as a “Missionary Candidate”…! Answer all the questions on the forms completely and honestly. PRAY about your answers.
In most of the world, your friends and others who you ask to give you a reference may not want to say anything negative about you, or may just want to give glowing reports. Ask them to be honest in their references about you. You are not perfect, but weaknesses do not disqualify you from the missions field…!
6. Go to the missions interview…! As soon as your paperwork is processed, you will get an appointment to be interviewed by one or more of the mission’s leaders or their representatives. Don’t be afraid, they are looking for reasons to send you to the missions field, NOT reasons to hold you back. Be honest! Relax.
If they have some advice about some things you should do before you are appointed, don’t be discouraged. They know what you need to be successful in missions. Be glad that they want you to be fully prepared and just GO and DO what is needed! You will soon get your appointment as a “Missionary Candidate”…! Of course you will want to KEEP PRAYING!
7. Complete all Pre-Field Requirements…! You will probably be given a check-list of pre-field requirements. These will be courses to take, books to read, and maybe a short-term mission trip. You may need to meet others you will work with later, or take a trip to the country where you will be working. Your list should be special for you, just what you need to get ready for the field. So, Just GET BUSY and DO everything.
Yes, you will have to RAISE SUPPORT… you will have to go around and find all those people that God has called to be your support partners: the ones who will pray for you and send money so you can eat. Don’t worry about this, the Lord has promised to provide for your ministry. You can count on Him. If you can’t, then you need to learn to, so this is the time to find out if He is faithful or not…! PRAY!
8. Be commissioned by your sending church…! Once you have completed your pre-field requirements and raised support, you will be appointed as a “Missionary Trainee”. By now the call of God is evident, you are prepared to go, and it is time for your church to “send you out”.
Ask your pastor and elders to schedule a special commissioning service for you. Some churches call this ordination or licensing. Whatever it is called, it is man’s recognition of the call of God on our life and your hard work to fulfill that call. At that service they will lay hands on you and pray for you and your ministry. It will be one of most special days of your life.
9. Complete Your Field Training…! Finally! Go to the field or to the training base and do your field training. This will usually be two or more years of on-the-job training where you will get hands on experience. You may have to learn how to work on a team, adjust to another culture, learn another language, or ride a bike…! Sometimes you will train right on the field you are called to, sometimes you will train in another situation or country. Whatever the case, you will not only be learning how to work, you will be proving your own call by submitting to another person for a time of discipleship unlike any other you have ever had. Be patient, be strong. This is a very important time which will help you all the rest of the days of your missions ministry.
During your time in field training you will help plant a church and learn a lot more about indigenous principles, teamwork, and leadership. You may make one or more trips to the people group or country you are called to if you aren’t already there. PRAY! Do all you are asked to do with a willing and happy heart. Prove yourself to be a servant, you will soon enough be the one who carries the full mantle of authority.
10. Now you are Ready…! All Set…! OK – GO…! That is it! You made it, you are now a “Senior Missionary” fully equipped to do the work of missions ministry… so… GO to your field and complete the call of God on your life. Those lost souls to whom the Lord has called you are waiting, be faithful… GO.