Monday, May 4, 2009

Phase 3: Are you being called into Foreign Missions?

I recently had a long time friend drop me a message on face book.
"Do you have any advice for a guy who thinks he has just recently felt God calling him into missions?"

Go here to read about Phase 1: Explore and Phase 2: Prepare

Phase 3: GO

Seek Partnership- Don't try to go it alone, but make sure you have a clear connection with your home church and completed phase 1 and phase 2. Keep in mind your home church may have an interview process that they want you to go through to determine if and how they will partner with you. Our church takes partnership very seriously and neither enters or breaks partnership lightly. If we sense that the Spirit is moving us into a new ministry partnership these are some of the key issues that we will consider.

  • Do we know these new partners well enough as a church that we can vouch for their fruitfulness as followers of Christ?
  • Can the prospective ministry partners articulate a clear and compelling vision for this field of ministry?
  • Is this ministry a good fit for our church's vision and strategy for world mission?
Communication- One of the key parts of your ministry when overseas is your ministry to your home church and your supporters. It is through the financial and prayer support of friends and family back home that you are able to continue living and working in the field. It is important for you to begin this process of communication before leaving for the field and to continue to be proactive in communication the entire time you are there. When you are around meet with individuals over meals and coffee. Print up materials for your supporters to keep in front of them to remember you and your work throughout the week.

Be proactive
in setting up speaking engagements where you can share about your ministry. In this technological age there is little excuse for not having clear and regular digital communication (unless you are working in a remote location). It is important for friends and family back home to receive regular updates and communication so that they can share both the joys and burdens of your ministry.

Commission
- If your church does partner with you formally a commissioning service is a great way for both parties to publicly affirm the partnership and ministry.

Related L.I.M. Articles
Practical Ways to Support a Missionary
The Mission Field: Coming to a City Near You

Life is Ministry
Cross Cultural (mis)Understanding