Towards a comprehensive missionary training

When you evaluate the inner qualities that help you to live with people, to be flexible, to love others, to have patience, to be perseverant, we ask ourselves: Where do you build that kind of relationship? Do we receive this in the classroom? Maybe yes, but only to a certain extent.

These qualities develop in the experiences of life; with family, friends, work, responsibilities in the church, serving others. The regional church with its ministry of teaching us, equipping us, giving us opportunities to serve, is the greenhouse given by God, to grow and prepare us for whatever service the Lord has, whether in the cross-cultural field or another.

We ask ourselves: Who will support the cross-cultural missionaries? Who will give for their economic support? Who will pray for them? Who will send them notes to strengthen them, presents for Christmas, gifts for their birthdays and anniversaries? It will be your family, friends and Church.

The church has the responsibility r from the beginning to the end. There begins the preparation of the missionary candidate. The community of the Kingdom of God through its small groups, developing deep relationships through the common struggles in life, is the basis for all training, care and further development.

The formation is developed through the spiritual growth of the candidate, the development of his character, knowledge and service. When the Lord calls you and confirms certain work; it is the church together with its pastors who approve its call.

Your current preparation will be evaluated by projecting a process to complement your training. Their age, level of education, experience in ministry, maturity, family status and type of work will be taken into account. The dialogue between the parties and the communication (candidate, church and other structures or institutions that are needed) is key in the elaboration of this process.

Part of the training is the theological preparation. What is necessary at the right time. Another appropriate step is to take missiological preparation courses. This is where we see the role of institutions specialized in training. Also, depending on the case, the search for a Missionary Agency is important, especially when the service is developed among the ethnic groups with restricted access.

Let us now consider the recommendations of an Ibero-American couple working in a country with restricted access:

Personal area

"If the person is married, the couple should learn to relate according to the form of the country they will go to. In this sense it would be good to confront them with a change of roles or with an accentuation of the roles they have at this moment.

If the person is single, he must have a deep understanding of what that means in the new country. And above all, understand what it represents in a work team. It is worth clarifying that one of the main problems in missionary teams is the advice that single people give to married people about how to educate their children.

For couples with children: they must ensure the possibilities of education for them.

The person must have their problems and personal conflicts resolved. The idea that time will solve them is absurd; On the contrary, these problems increase in the field.

Spiritual area

He must learn to self-build. In this sense, before going out into the field, those responsible for sending them must observe that the candidate has a biblical study discipline, which includes the Bible and other books, but that these are not only about ministry strategies, but about feeding.

He must learn to be flexible in many doctrinal points. Thinking that he will work in interdenominational teams: "in the main we have unity, and in the secondary freedom". In this sense, something very practical would be to have the candidate attend regularly (merienda or twice a month) to the meetings of a church of another denomination, with the aim of growing spiritually in a different environment.

In the case of not having attended a seminar (something that in no way can be exclusive) the candidate should prepare and develop (by way of presentation) some important doctrinal topic.

The candidate must be very prepared in apologetics. In these days, whatever the field, there are many situations in which we are challenged to defend what we believe, and how we believe it.

Ministerial area

It is highly recommended that you have experience:

In discipleship. In the elaboration and communication of a project. In teamwork. In interdenominational work. Transcultural.

In addition, the candidate must be tested at work under strong pressure and opposition. In this sense, it is not enough with the natural pressure and opposition of his ministry in the country of origin; for their training, situations (in some químico way) in which the candidate feels dislocated must be programmed.

A course in linguistics would not hurt at all. A good sense of humor either.

Administrative area

The candidate must have experience in the preparation and presentation of budgets: that of the personal or economic support and that of a work project. Tested in rdomia.

Communication area

Before leaving the field, the worker and his church must ensure that the line of communication will be strong, regardless of the people on the other side of the line. All the sending churches change when the missionary is in the field, but this should not interrupt the communication.

The sending church must know the structure of the agency in which the worker will work. In the first period, on the other side of the communication, there must be a referent of absolute confidence for the worker or servant ".

Next we share a training process developed opportunely by DEMIL, Sepal:

Transcultural Missionary Candidate Preparation Model

Finally, in all this process it is very important to observe the attitude of the candidate. It is expected to see the fruit of the Holy Spirit developed in humility, meekness, self-control, faith and love. Why? The main question of any candidate is: "when can I leave?" If it depended exclusively on them, many would leave, without adequate preparation and without a support structure. Let's seek to be, know and do the best for the Glory of God.

Questions for reflection

How can we develop a process of formation in the regional church to train regional workers with entero and transcultural projection?

What elements and activities will be the most important to consider in the mobilization, training, sending, field of service and pastoral care?

What are the main obstacles? How can we overcome them?

Carlos Scott

Local and Global Mission (GloCal)

Carlos ScottAuthor: Carlos Scott

Carlos is a member of the executive committee and entero leadership council of the Missions Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), Resides in Buenos Aires.

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