A Missionary Budget: What Costs Does it Include?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

missionary budget

Wondering what goes into a missionary budget (which, when you’re raising support, can feel overwhelming)? We let you peek behind the curtain with some opinions of other global workers.

“A missionary Budget may cover all the costs of sending the missionary, not just what YOU need to live.”

A missionary budget may include all the expenses of fielding the missionary. Besides a salary, budget categories might include

  • taxes
  • health and life insurance
  • retirement
  • travel expenses (including cost of home assignments)
  • administrative expenses (including the costs of communicating with supporters, and often a certain percentage that supports the mission agency’s home office)
  • training costs (e.g. language school)
  • purchase or rental of property
  • purchase and maintenance of a vehicle.

It’s also wise to include some kind of surplus account, or perhaps a 5% buffer built right into the budget in anticipation of

  • lost support, cost of living increases
  • changing exchange rates
  • inflation
  • an emergency fund and/or insurance that covers medical evacuation

All this can add up to a daunting amount.

But trust me: Cutting corners is not worth the savings.

Being well prepared will help you and your family avoid some of the stress of arriving on the field and not having what you need. 

Most mission agencies include some kind of “admin fee.” What these fees cover varies considerably. A high admin fee may include some of the expenses listed above. A low one may suggest these items are listed elsewhere in your budget.

Editor’s note: If you’re considering going without a sending agency (and budgeting is one of your reasons), be sure to check out our series on the pros and cons.

It’s tempting to cut out things like contingency and retirement funds, but if missions is your career, you may regret neglecting such things.

Online resources you may find helpful: sample missionary budgets, basic budgeting forms, and How Much Is Enough?

Answer from Marti, who’s served as a mission mobilizer since 1995, including more than ten years with Pioneers.

“If married, both should get a salary.”

A missionary candidate recently asked me if I thought it was better for a married couple to both be counted as legal employees. Should just the serving member of the couple be paid, to simplify payroll even if both are working as missionaries?

Our organization issues W-2’s to my wife and I with half of our total income per year. I think it’s more respectful of our partnership to do it that way and honor my spouse’s major contributions to the work. That was our original reason.

We’ve discovered strong financial reasons along the way too.

When you are negotiating your budget with your agency and others, it’s to your advantage to present the full force of your contribution i.e. two full-time workers. Although people might remember there are two of us, it is to your financial advantage to remind them of the income you both are earning together.

Many missionaries, even if they start under the traditional model of only one marriage partner as the breadwinner, evolve eventually to give both spouses a significant responsibility in the work. There can be a tendency for some to forget that you are working not just 40 hours but 80+ hours as two workers.

Employing both partners accrues Social Security credits for that partner, too. I’m not sure, but I believe this means she’d have higher income in retirement than if she wasn’t an official employee.

Consider, too, that liability insurance and taxation “safe harbor laws” (allowing return to your home state for a number of days without being taxed) likely don’t extend to a non-employee legally.

Answer from Sam in Taiwan, who has served with Beyond and Joni and Friends for well over a decade.

“your MISSIONARY budget is hopefully designed for your longevity on the field, from veterans who’ve realistically counted the cost.”

Raising an amount so much higher than a salary may surprise you. Why’s this necessary? You may be raising the actual costs it takes a business to employ a person (which can be an additional 100-180% of a salary)–plus costs intrinsic to being a successful global worker. 

These expenses may include costs like

  • overhead for project costs for your ministry. For example, if you hope to run a supply distribution for at-risk children, you may be raising costs to maintain that programming. The more independent your project is from your sending organization, the more likely you may need to raise those project costs.
  • travel expenses.
  • your computer, software, internet, desk, chair, phone, office space, etc. Some agencies don’t already provide these.
  • member care. These costs cover critical mental and emotional support for the challenges of living cross-culturally and more challenging circumstances. There are a vital component to your longevity, and should be factored into your budget (or your organization’s).

Editor’s note: When considering what to relate to potential financial supporters about your own budget, see this post, “RAISING SUPPORT: 2 COMMANDMENTS OF SHARING BUDGET NEEDS”. Sometimes missionary budgets are difficult for non-missionaries to understand without passing undue judgment.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS FOR A MISSIONARY BUDGET

Obviously, lower administrative fees in a missionary budget help reduce your overall budget. But typically, more moderate to high admin fees include more benefits and services that help keep you going on the mission field.

Other thoughts to keep in mind:

  • Different sending organizations have very different philosophies of budget-setting (ranging from frugal to robust, job-based or needs-based). They also have varying levels of control over budget-setting.
  • Ask your organization about categories or aspects of a budget you don’t understand.
  • Keep in mind that the amount may seem overwhelming when you’re raising a high support goal. But your budget is hopefully designed for your longevity on the field, from veterans who’ve realistically counted the cost.
  • It’s also far easier to raise support before your first departure–and much harder to raise from the field and even during travel back to your passport culture. So go well-funded from the start!

Answer from John, the Human Resources director for Engineering Ministries’ International’s offices around the world.

Like this post? You might like

How to Overcome Obstacles and Get Fully Funded

“Is there any way other than begging for financial support?”

The Fix: For What Might Be Broken in Your Fundraising

 

Becoming a Missionary: Ultimate Preparation Checklist!

Reading Time: 6 minutes

becoming a missionary

Editor’s note: Go. Serve. Love knows the decision and process for becoming a missionary can very quickly become complicated–even overwhelming. It’s why we’re thrilled to partner with the brand-new Mission App, a 15-20 minute application sent for you to mission agencies who match your chosen criteria!

We’re excited to welcome the Mission App today as they hand you their ultimate preparation checklist for becoming a missionary. Drumroll, please.

One more thing: becoming a missionary is a continual process of being shaped. These are essential areas in which to continue growing even, and especially, once on the field.

Use these to increase self-awareness, not as a signal you’ve arrived.

Read: If you’re checking off these boxes and considering them “done!”–you’re missing the idea. Each of these ideas is a touchstone to highlight areas of strength, weakness–and continued necessary growth either way.

Becoming a Missionary: Questions to consider as you prepare!

We understand that becoming a missionary may seem to be a huge, scary unknown.  What if there’s something you haven’t considered… and it’s important?

This Ultimate Checklist is meant to help you think through the questions that matter in becoming a missionary.

Don’t worry – these things will never be checked off as ‘completely accomplished’ for anyone. We just hope you will be encouraged as you see how far God has already brought you.

You might be further along toward becoming a missionary than you think!

And maybe we’ll remind you of something you wish you’d remembered.

Abiding with Jesus – Am I …

  • growing since I first met Jesus? Jot down ways God continues to change you.
  • feeding myself through study of God’s Word? Write highlights of what God has been impressing upon you in the past month from your time in his Word.
  • developing my prayer life? – Jot down how you’ve seen God interact with your prayers this week.

Character / Personal Growth – Am I…

  • demonstrating fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22)? List a few ways you’ve seen this fruit in you this week.
  • quick to repent? List one thing you’ve repented of this week.
  • quick to forgive? Name one thing God’s given you grace to forgive this week.
  • full of integrity? Are your external and internal lives congruent?
  • living in humility? Name recent times you’ve God’s strength through your weakness.
  • learning how to handle conflict well? List one way you hope to grow in your handling of conflict.
  • learning how to handle failure? Name a failure Jesus has brought you through this month.

Family – Do I…

  • have a healthy marriage (if applicable)? Ask your spouse, your kids, your godly close friends what you do well and what you need to learn.
  • need to consider my kids’ readiness to go? Talk with them about the loss of current friends, the making of new ones, & the changing of circumstances (no Wi-Fi maybe?).
  • need to consider responsibilities like adult kids or aging parents? Jot down a prayer asking God for wisdom if this applies to you.
  • understand schooling options for my kids? Talk through if you and your kids are ready for the possibility of boarding school or homeschooling.

Relationship with others – What…

  • characterizes your relationships with those you work with or live near?  Write down positive and negative ways you’ve been described, and how you handle conflict.
  • is it about your life that draws people to you/renders others cold toward you? Write down what comes to mind.
  • shows that you consistently count others as more significant than self? Becoming a missionary means a dedicated life of others-focus–the life of a Christ-follower. Give examples of when you listened well more than you talked of yourself in the last few days.

Church Participation – Am I…

  • involved with a local church? Write down ways you have served in your church in the past and currently.
  • sent by my church? Write down how your church has supported you and confirmed the leading God has given you to share Jesus in another culture.  List those who are praying for you or who are willing to support you financially.

Biblical Formation – Do I…

  • understand core biblical doctrine?  Describe how God is healing the broken relationships in this world (between people and God and between people and each other) using specific Scriptures. What classes or books have you explored to increase your knowledge of solid doctrine? Write down your understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus from Scripture.
  • know how to articulate my faith?  Write down your core beliefs and why you believe them.
  • need to take formal Bible classes? Check with your sending church or organization to see if these are required.

Professional Training – Am I…

God’s Leading –  Can I…

  • put in words how God led me to consider becoming a missionary? Write down how God has led you so far in this journey toward sharing the Good News in another culture.
  • name a specific mission agency I feel connected with? Write a list of agencies that you are considering working with if you know of any.

becoming a missionary

Evangelism & Discipleship Training – Do I…

  • have a heart for reaching out beyond my own life? Becoming a missionary isn’t a magic wand to change your outreach habits! How have you demonstrated reaching out in the last month? (Grab ideas to start right where you’re at.)
  • know how to share the Good News about Jesus? Write down a brief summary of this Good News.
  • have the tools you need, understanding how they might interact with the complex culture to which you hope to go? Jot down questions you may want to pursue answers for.
  • continue to train in discipleship making? Write down where you are learning now or where you could learn.
  • train others already in following Jesus? Write down ways you are currently training others in following Jesus.

Church Planting Training – Have I…

  • thought about planting a church? Write down your thoughts as you pray about this.
  • considered being trained to plant a church? Write down where you might get training.

Cross Cultural Preparation – Do I…

  • know how to adjust to new cultures? Write down how you handle change or being different. (Don’t miss this series on beginning to navigate cultural differences and “icebergs”.)
  • understand the religion in my potential new host country? Do a little research online to start or even better talk to someone.
  • understand the culture in my potential new host country? Do some research and talk to someone who has lived there for more than a year.
  • plan to learn the language? Research what language is most spoken in your potential host culture.  Make a plan of how you will learn; language schools are usually available, or perhaps you’ll employ a tutor.  You may want to find some flash cards (online works, too, or an app like Word Climber) and build your vocabulary in your free time.

becoming a missionary

Becoming a Missionary: Next Steps

If you asked yourself these questions and realized you’re ready to take the next step toward becoming a missionary, here are a few things you may want to do.

Mission Agency Selection

  • Research agencies: Go to themissionapp.com to search easily.
  • Look for options: Talk to people you know about what is available.
  • Find an agency that matches your purpose: Think through how God is leading you in terms of ministry, people group, and location.

Application / Orientation / Training

  • Send in The Mission App’s preliminary application. You can choose to fill out our single application, which we route to multiple agencies that fit your purpose.
  • Fill out full-time application or interview with your choice of agencies. Call them if they don’t call you.
  • Attend mission agency orientation. Your agency provides details of where and when.
  • Attend any extra training required. Your agency will send details of what is required.

Prayer Partners

  • Raise up prayer partners (at least 100). Start with your small group, your church, your family, your friends.
  • Start communicating to prayer partners. You can use a group email, mass email service (like MailChimp), or a Facebook page or Instagram account.  Be consistent in reporting requests and answers.  (Remember to consider security if you are moving to a “creative access country”. Seek out your agency’s wisdom and safety guidelines.)

Finances

  • Determine the model of how you will be supported. Your mission agency will likely have this in place.
  • Engage in fundraising training. You don’t have to fly blind–or damage relationships! Learn from organizations who train others in fundraising. (Find out more at Go. Serve. Love’s page on Funding God’s Adventure.)
  • Start fundraising. Let people know what it is exactly that you will be doing and what your financial needs are.

See?  Not so bad.  Now that the adventure of missions is not so unknown, you’ve got a clearer picture of where you stand and what to do next.  Grab ahold of God’s hand and go!

Like this post? Don’t miss gO. sERVE. lOVE’S FREE PRINTABLE, FLEXIBLE TIMELINE FOR YOUR JOURNEY OVERSEAs–and our free self-assessment below!

 

 

Choosing an Emotionally Healthy Missions Organization

Reading Time: 4 minutes

emotionally healthy

Missed our last post on Emotionally Healthy Missions? Grab it here!

When you’re headed overseas, it’s easy to underestimate the effects your organization’s health could have on the ability to thrive overseas.

As I type, I think of the friend who called me recently, voice throaty with tears, as she discussed their lack of ability to care for her after stepping off the field.

Or I remember my conversation with the missionary couple who felt they had no option but to leave their organization once they’re on the field.

I think of a young mom who felt her agency had far more interest in “the mission” than they did in the missionaries themselves.

I remember the friend that arrived with her family of five in-country for the first time, but were simply dropped at a boarding house with no cash, no meals for the first night. The whole family went to sleep on an empty stomach.

Feel Free to Date Around

Unfortunately, looking for an organization is a bit like dating. Everyone’s got their best foot forward–and is often unable to see the friction inevitable in a future “marriage”. 

And keep in mind–there’s no perfect partner on either side. The trick is to go in with eyes wide open.

How can you set yourself up for a wiser partnership when it comes to the emotional health of an organization?

1. Think bigger than a shared mission–and get intuitive.

Finding a good organizational fit can’t only be about a similar mission and proper theology–because no one wants to share a mission, but deal with unhealthy conflict management, possess few resources to care for trauma, or feel like their org doesn’t really listen.

When dating, I remember looking at the guy’s clothes, observing how he carried on a conversation (do I have to drive the convo constantly? And is he genuinely interested in me?). I watched how he tipped, how he treated the wait staff.

Bring that kind of intuition into your interactions with your missions organization. Chances are, the person who’s interviewing you or answering your questions won’t be the same person managing you or living down the street when you’re overseas.

Gather as much intuitive information as you can, sorting out how each individual changes the dynamic of your interactions and your impression of the agency.

2. To find an emotionally healthy agency, Ask Good Questions.

Consider asking questions like these to narrow down your choices to an agency that’s more emotionally healthy.

Questions to ask yourself

  1. How much does this organization value appearances over authenticity?
  2. Do their rhythms and expectations allow great margin for missionaries to replenish and serve from the inside out?
  3. How do I anticipate resting, finding community, being personally discipled, finding personal enjoyment, and otherwise creating an emotionally healthy environment that helps me stay as long and as emotionally healthy as possible?
  4. Who are this organization’s heroes? Of whom do they speak more negatively? (What does this tell me about their values?)
  5. How truthful and realistic does this organization seem?
  6. Do I agree with their approaches to evangelism?
  7. What do I identify with about this organization? What turns me off?

Questions to ask the organization

  1. What infrastructures are already in place for
    • training
    • on-boarding once you arrive
    • debriefing
    • member care
    • trauma care
    • emergency evacuation (physically, but also emotionally)
    • holding staff accountable
    • manager training (Pro tip: healthy management is often taken for granted…until it isn’t there)?

    2. How has your organization and its goals changed to respond to the changing face and theology of missions? (How are you doing missions differently now than you used to?)

    3. How have you dealt with burned-out missionaries in the past?

    4. How do you work to increasingly partner with nationals?

    5. What’s the missionary community like in the area(s) we’re considering? Are there children our kids’ ages? What are the educational possibilities?

    6. Can you offer us any anonymous examples of how you’ve dealt with conflict or missionaries’ “red flags” (porn addiction, severe anxiety, depression, etc.) while on field?

    7. What are your expectations for emotionally healthy home assignments, including

    • timing
    • how we would spend our time while in our passport country
    • ways to replenish ourselves and address needs harder to meet on the field (counseling, etc.)?

    8. What ways do you help missionaries succeed cross-culturally? Who will introduce us to the country cross-culturally?

    9. How do you partner with other organizations interdependently?

    10. What options will be available to us if we need counseling?

    11. For what matters (e.g. with extended family) do you encourage missionaries to return to their home countries temporarily or long-term?

    12. Describe your prayer support system.

    3. Consider your singleness, gender, and unique family structure.

    Questions for Singles

    Elizabeth, a missionary with SEND International for over 37 years, advises these questions for singles:

    1. How are singles, especially single women, viewed in your organization? Can they hold ministry leadership positions?
    2. If singles are part of a team, is there a good balance of singles and married couples?
    3. How is the support structured for singles? Is it assumed they will live with another single or do they have the freedom to live alone?
    4. What are your policies for a single marrying someone from their country of ministry?
    5. Is a single woman treated at all differently than a single man? What is the difference?

    Also, if you are dating or engaged, how does this affect you joining that agency?

    Questions for Families

    Families might also consider questions like these:

    • Jesus sent his disciples out in a minimum of twos. How do I see our family connecting with other like-minded families in the area we hope to go?
    • What are expectations for standards of living, e.g. appropriate and inappropriate levels of comfort?
    • If my marriage or a child needs immediate help with emotional issues, what are our options?
    • What’s the expectation of involvement for missionary spouses?

    Find even more questions to ask of agencies here and here.

    We want to hear from you.

    What questions do you find it critical to ask to find an emotionally healthy missions agency?

    Comment below!

Meet an Agency: Christian Veterinary Mission (CVM)

Reading Time: 6 minutes

We heart this ongoing series–a virtual trip to the coffee shop with organizations to help you go there, serve Him, and love them even better.

(For more thoughts about why you might join an agency–and a handful of reasons you might not–make sure to check out He Said/She Said/You Say? “Should I go overseas with an organization?”, both the pros and the cons.)

Today, because they’re based in the Northwest U.S., we’re grabbing a berry smoothie with Christian Veterinary Mission.

Pull up a chair.

TELL US WHAT YOUR AGENCY SPECIALIZES IN. WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT?

CVM’s vision is to share Christ’s love through veterinary medicine.  We challenge, empower and facilitate veterinary professionals (vets, veterinary technicians, and veterinary students) to serve others by living out their Christian faith.

Through relationships built around the care of livestock and pets, the gospel can be shared in locations often closed to other missionaries.  We call this the “animal bridge”. 

Many of the unreached people groups are livestock-based societies that while not open to the gospel, would welcome someone who could help them with their animals.  From grassroots rural workers to university professors, what we have in common is our use of the “animal bridge” to reach people.

CVM

HOW LONG HAS CVM BEEN AROUND, AND HOW LARGE ARE YOU GUYS? IN WHAT COUNTRIES ARE YOUR GLOBAL WORKERS LOCATED?

CVM was founded in 1978 by Dr. Leroy Dorminy, who was inspired by a West African woman who said not to come to help, but “Come and teach us, that we can help ourselves.” 

We now have 38 long-term veterinarians and technicians placed in 16 countries and approximately 600 volunteers who serve short-term each year in about 50 countries.

TELL US ONE STORY THAT EXCITES YOU FROM WHAT YOUR ORGANIZATION IS DOING.

In Uganda, Dr. Daniel Graham is implementing a successful rabbit project among the Batwa people, who were looked upon formerly as slaves. 

Daniel teaches a course on caring for rabbits, and all about rabbit husbandry. Then those who complete the training course and demonstrate that they have built the housing necessary are given a pair of rabbits.

The first offspring come back to the project for the next round of training and recipients.  This gives him the opportunity with each lesson to share the Gospel and biblical principles and build relationships leading to spiritual conversations where it would be very difficult otherwise.

Daniel started a School of Ministry where pastors and church planters are trained by studying through the entire Bible in a year and then sent out.  From last year’s class, 3 students in a Muslim area have planted 5 churches, and asked Daniel to come to their area to give additional training.

Three other students have gone to the Batwa people and are planting churches there—locating several groups of Batwa in more remote areas where they were previously unknown.  They want Daniel to move there and help plant churches—an opportunity that opened because of the rabbit project.

When Turkeys Become Your Church Project

Last year, after Daniel trained on evangelism and disciple-making, he challenged each student to prayerfully choose someone in the surround community to evangelize and disciple, putting into practice what they had learned.

To kick it off, each student invited their new friend to the small neighborhood church which Daniel and a Ugandan doctor has worked together to get started.  When these new friends gathered, Daniel taught a course on animal husbandry for turkeys.

Thus it became a church project!  At the end of the course, each participant got a pair of turkeys to take home; as it was for the rabbits, two offspring would be returned to the project for the next opportunity.

This provided an opportunity for the students to continue their new friendships, visiting to ask how the turkeys were doing, and to evangelize and then disciple the ones they had felt the Lord led them to select from the community.

The turkeys were a great success themselves.  But better yet, many families started coming to church.

They explained that they had thought the church was just for the kids program, not for adults.  Now over 120 new people attend church, and a number have committed their lives to Christ and become baptized.

These are a direct result of using turkeys to show the love of Christ with human compassion and evangelism.  From humble turkeys to new life in Christ!

“Use the Tools that God has Given You”

Daniel wrote,

You never know what might happen when you use the tools that God has given you to reach out to those around you who are desperate for love and hope.

God uses veterinarians, especially to reach people who rely on their livestock for culture and survival.

In Tanzania, one church planter tells of going to a village and only getting to talk to about 6 people. But the next day, the veterinary team arrived.

As they treated animals, people would ask why they were helping them—an immediate opportunity to talk about the love of Jesus. 

Over the next couple days, they got to talk to more than 80 people and 60 made decisions to follow Christ—and a church was planted.  One of the village elders gave his own property as a place for the new church to meet.

In Central African Republic, a veteran missionary begs for veterinarians to come join their team.  “We have years of good relationships. We have spiritual materials translated.  But when I go out to the Fulani cattle camps, I can’t help with what they hold most dear.  A veterinarian would make all the difference.” 

He knows.  We previously had a vet there for a year, and it made the difference.

5 WORDS TO DESCRIBE the CULTURE of CVM. GO.

  • Christ-centered (multi-denominational)
  • Veterinary-focused
  • Relational
  • Supportive and Flexible
  • Collaborative partnerships

LET’S TALK BRASS TACKS. GIVE US THE 411 ON YOUR APPLICATION AND TRAINING PROCESS.

We encourage people to participate with CVM to get to know us as an agency first.  This might be going on a short term mission trip with us, or attending our long term missions orientation (generally a 2.5 day seminar offered once a year). It could be coming to a “Real Life, Real Impact” conference at a veterinary college (six times a year), or completing some of our free online modules.

Our first step is a simple Missions Interest Assessment form and a learning needs assessment that helps us recommend specific trainings based on an individual person’s experience.

Common recommendations for serious candidates would be

  • language learning and cross-cultural training
  • support raising (deputation)
  • Biblical foundations
  • Perspectives on World Christian Mission course
  • Training of Trainers in Participatory Methods (offered by CVM about once a year)

We ask for six references (two professional, two personal and two spiritual).

Once an applicant is approved by our personnel committee, they become an official candidate and we come alongside them and their church as they do further training and support raising.

CVM phase chart

WHAT KIND OF GLOBAL WORKERS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR AT CVM? PAINT US A WORD PICTURE.

We are looking for veterinary professionals with a commitment to Christ.

No two positions are alike. Some work in rural villages with subsistence farmers.  Others teach at universities. Some serve in modern animal clinics with pets in cities or large animals in the countryside, while others teach with what they carry in a backpack.

We work toward sustainability, participation, and transformational development. 

CVM

A CVM worker needs flexibility, resilience, creativity, and the humility to serve under national leadership.  All of our workers serve with an in-country partner.

Rarely do we have more than one CVM worker in a given location. Teams are inter-denominational and international in make-up.

Singles, married and families serve with CVM around the world. We have women and men, and both large animal and small animal veterinary professionals.

WHAT WOULD YOU CONSIDER “RED FLAGS” IN THE APPLICATION PROCESS?

Red flags would be those who are rigid in how they think things should be done and unable to partner with national believers.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE LOOKING IN AN OVERSEAS DIRECTION?

Think about how you can use your profession where you are now to share the love of Christ with those you work with and those you serve. Start now to use that animal bridge to build relationships.

Pray that God will give you a vision for how these skills might serve overseas.

Contact CVM now!  Come to our conferences, check out our website, try out a short term trip, contact our US-based regional representative for your area and get to know us.

We would love to come alongside you as you explore the possibilities even if you don’t go overseas for another ten years.  We are a fellowship of Christian veterinary professionals serving together wherever God has placed us.

Some people come to us with a specific calling to a specific part of the world. Others have a vague sense that God might be calling them but no idea where, when or how. Let us be a part of your journey.

Contact CVM by clicking here,

or email International Programs Director

Dr. Brad Frye at bfrye@cvm.org

AND DON’T MISS…

Meet an Agency: Studio

Reading Time: 4 minutes

We heart this new, ongoing series–a virtual trip to the coffee shop with organizations to help you go there, serve Him, and love them even better.

(For more thoughts about why you might join an agency–and a handful of reasons you might not–make sure to check out He Said/She Said/You Say? “Should I go overseas with an organization?”, both the pros and the cons.)

Today, we’re grabbing a white mocha with Studio, a dynamic internship program designed to equip long-term workers for the Muslim world. 

Since we’re passionate about the unreached 4.13 billion, we can’t wait to tell you about this org.

Pull up a chair.

studio

TELL US WHAT YOUR AGENCY SPECIALIZES IN. WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT?

Our passion is equipping long-term workers for resiliency and fruitfulness among the unreached in the 10/40 window. 

Far too many cross-cultural ministers of the Gospel return to their home countries without seeing the fruit they wanted to see—unfortunately, often before their language ability is sufficient to lead a Bible Study in the host language. 

At Studio, we’re changing that with pre-field training that includes daily practical application, including real-life ministry among immigrants from unreached people groups.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AROUND, AND HOW LARGE ARE YOU GUYS? IN WHAT COUNTRIES ARE YOUR GLOBAL WORKERS LOCATED?

We started Studio in 2016, and are now in our seventh three-month session. We have 40 graduates in full-time service in 18 countries across the 10/40 window.

studio

TELL US ONE STORY THAT EXCITES YOU FROM WHAT YOUR ORGANIZATION IS DOING.

All of our training is practical and reproducible, and our goal is to see our graduates training others on the field for greater resiliency and fruitfulness.  In one country, Studio alumni are partnering with local churches in training believers to reach out to unengaged peoples in their own region in effective ways.  We love to see our training multiplying to equip those on the “front lines”!

5 WORDS TO DESCRIBE YOUR ORGANIZATION’S CULTURE. GO.

  • Fruitful
  • Resilient
  • Humble
  • Hungry
  • Transformed

WHAT’S DISTINCTIVE ABOUT YOU GUYS?

Studio is only for those called to long-term service among the unreached.  All our trainers have spent their careers in church-planting ministry in the 10/40 window, and teach from real-life experience.

studio

We combine adult-oriented classroom teaching with practical experience among refugees and immigrants in the context of community living and the stresses of team life, so our graduates go to the field with a complete toolbox they already know how to use.

LET’S TALK BRASS TACKS. GIVE US THE 411 ON YOUR APPLICATION AND TRAINING PROCESS.

Studio is a ‘first step’ to your long-term field ministry. After you’ve joined a team and raised your financial support, we invite you to come to Studio to gain and hone real-life field ministry skills.

WHAT KIND OF GLOBAL WORKERS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? PAINT US A WORD PICTURE.

We are looking for people committed to seeing movements of Jesus-followers raised up among every people group!  We are looking for people who are humble and hungry, eager to learn, and to practice what they are learning.  We are looking for those who want mentoring, growth, and ongoing transformation into the likeness of Jesus.

WHAT WOULD YOU CONSIDER “RED FLAGS” IN THE APPLICATION PROCESS?

A big red flag would be a belief that training isn’t necessary; that we already know everything we need to know and have nothing new to learn!

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE LOOKING IN AN OVERSEAS DIRECTION?

Get involved in ministry to refugees and immigrants here among us.  Serve them, pray for them, pray with them, learn from them.  See what God is doing and how He wants you to join Him!

Interested in Studio? Email info@studioteam.org to discover more and/or enroll!

AND DON’T MISS…

 

What Mindset Helps You Stay Overseas?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

mindset

You’re no doubt burning a lot of fuel, so to speak, to get overseas. Considering the 4.13 billion unreached, you know the needs are critical.

But what if getting there isn’t the only hard part?

What does it take to stay there?

For example, Thrive Ministry reports that approximately 31,000 North American women serve as global workers. Of those, about 4,000 women leave the field yearly for potentially preventable reasons. (See related survey results on missionary attrition here.)

What mindsets can help you stay onfield?

MINDSET 1: I will listen to my body, my family, and my long-term capacity.

The heroism regularly bestowed on overseas missions may cause you to think building God’s Kingdom is worth the subtle destruction of one member of the Kingdom for the rest–i.e., you. Your marriage. Your kids.

This doesn’t mean missions doesn’t demand self-sacrifice. Or that we don’t follow Jesus in carrying his cross.

But is our compelling message that Jesus is most pleased with burnout, lack of rest, and internal denial?

Courtney Doctor writes in her book Identity Theft of lies that tempt us from our core identity as children of God:

The lie of the slave says you have to work and work hard, to secure and sustain the Lord’s love…your worth is tied to your ability to produce and behave.

….The lie of the orphan says you’ve been abandoned and are all alone. No one really cares about you, provides for you, protects you, or loves you.

Remember our chief end as people: not just to glorify God, but enjoy him. 

Check out more at Never Forget: You are More than What You Do for God.

MINDSET 2: I will seek out mutual relationships encouraging grace and vulnerability.

Constantly in “helper” mode, it’s critical you also seek out relationships that are mutual: that demonstrate to you, too, over and over, God’s care for you apart from what you do for him. That show God as a strong tower for you–a refuge, a place where you can be upheld and refreshed. A place where you can seek counsel and encouragement.

Paul speaks frequently about how he’s encouraged by other believers, like in Romans 12: “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.”

If you don’t have this overseas, perhaps you look for it by video conferencing regularly with a counselor or trusted friend who will ask you good questions, pray for you, and tell you the truth.

MINDSET 3: I will seek out members of the Body of Christ to participate with me.

Remember: Jesus sent his disciples in twos. It’s ideal that people would glimpse not just one person made in God’s image, but interact with his Body: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).

And check out 1 Corinthians 12:21: “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’”

If you’re not already going with an organization, don’t miss the important tips in He Said/She Said/You Say? Should I Go Overseas with an Organization? The “Nope” Side.

If you’re seeking a team that best works with you, your gifting, your personality, and your personal sense of mission, check out MEET AN AGENCY: A Series to Help You Find a Great Fit.

Mindset 4: “Need” does not equal “called”.

Needs will be everywhere when you go overseas. The problem will likely not be “I hope I can find something useful for my time.”

It will much more likely be, “There is so much devastating need. How do I know what to say ‘yes’ to?”

While there is something truly beautiful and faith-filled in spontaneously helping–Here am I! Send me!–there is also great beauty in wise, well-considered steps of faith.

Yet, as I discovered when my husband and I considered adopting overseas, there is a sizeable gap between the person I want to be and the person I have capacity to be.

My dreams, I told my husband, will probably always surpass what I am actually able to do.

Acting solely based on need, rather than considering whether or not I actually have the capacity, can actually reveal my unbelief.

It’s as if God desperately needs me, and only me. It’s as if the Body of Christ–and God’s ability to provide–are not to be trusted.

Rather than working from peace, occasionally I work out of fear, wringing my hands over problems–rather than out of faith and deep joy. I think more highly of myself than I ought (Romans 12:3).

At times it can be a large view of myself, and small view of God.

Mindset 5: I will choose to resolve conflicts biblically, humbly–replaying what Jesus did for me.

Don’t miss 10 Ways to Make Sure Conflict Pulls You off the Field.

Mindset 6: success may not look like i saw it going in my head.

I once spoke to a woman whose parents, for four generations, were missionaries in Japan and China. It took 20 years before they saw their first convert.

If I remember correctly–sadly, this occured during a time of famine and drought, when the missionaries helped build a well. (Most of us don’t think, “Oh, goody! A famine!”–nor should we.)

As you’ve probably discovered with a God whose great success plan, the Cross, looked like a total failure–his ways are simply different. And higher. And more mysterious.

Thomas Merton writes in his “Letter to a Young Activist”,

Do not depend on hope of results. When…doing…essentially an apostolic work, you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no results at all, if not perhaps results opposite …

The big results are not in your hands or mine.…

All the good that you will do will not come from you but from the fact that you have allowed yourself, in the obedience of faith, to be used by God’s love.

Mindset 7: I will be all in.

What’s this look like? Learning the language. Making a home. Building relationships like you’re staying indefinitely. Finding ways to deal constructively with your very real cultural frustrations, rather than pressure building indefinitely, or just venting with other disgruntled missionaries.

After all: You’re no longer on a short-term trip. You’re here, like Jesus, to move into the neighborhood; to dwell among them (see John 1:14).

Get ready to stay there, and be truly present, as long as God has you there.ou’re burning a lot of fuel, so to speak, to get overseas. But what if that’s not the only hard part? What does mindset does it take to stay there?

Time to hear from you!
What mindset has been helpful as you prepare to go overseas–
or if you’ve already been, to stay there?
Join the conversation in the comment section.

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Meet an Agency: Worldwide Evangelization for Christ (WEC)

Reading Time: 7 minutes

We heart this new, ongoing series–a virtual trip to the coffee shop with organizations to help you go there, serve Him, and love them even better.

(For more thoughts about why you might join an agency–and a handful of reasons you might not–make sure to check out He Said/She Said/You Say? “Should I go overseas with an organization?”, both the pros and the cons.)

Today, we’re grabbing a peppermint mocha with Worldwide Evangelization for Christ (WEC International). They long to see Jesus known, loved and worshiped by the unreached peoples of the world. And they’ve got some interesting distinctives.

Pull up a chair.

WEC 2

TELL US WHAT YOUR AGENCY SPECIALIZES IN. WHAT is WEC PASSIONATE ABOUT?

WEC’s passion is to see Christ known, loved and worshiped by the unreached peoples of the world, and to see churches planted and growing among them.

Because of this, we’re also passionate about mobilizing people for missions from all over the world.

We are committed to finding new, creative and culturally-relevant ways of doing missions and of sharing with the unreached both in their home countries and wherever they have been displaced by political and social unrest.

Sometimes this means traveling across the globe; sometimes it means going across the street.

HOW LONG HAs WEC BEEN AROUND, AND HOW LARGE ARE YOU GUYS? IN WHAT COUNTRIES ARE YOUR GLOBAL WORKERS LOCATED?

WEC was founded by C. T. Studd in 1913.

We are a multi-cultural, interdenominational mission of over 1,890 workers from 58 countries serving in approximately 90 countries (on six continents), training and sending out long-term, mid-term and short-term workers from 20 centers around the world. We also serve displaced people from additional countries.

So it follows that many areas of ministry have grown out of WEC and are a vital part of our church-planting work:

  • Operation World, whose passion is to speed the work of world evangelization through prayer, and who published what is widely regarded as the definitive volume of prayer information about the world;
  • Rainbows of Hope, whose passion is to transform “children in crisis to children in Christ,” ministering to vulnerable children in more than 90 countries;
  • Betel, whose mission is to bring long-term freedom and restoration to lives broken by drug and alcohol abuse, ministering in over 100 urban areas in 24 nations;
  • Neighbors Worldwide, who are reaching “the world on our doorstep,” the unreached people who are displaced and now living in Western countries;
  • Arts Release, a collective of creative arts specialists who enjoy expressing God’s love through various art forms which help local believers around the world (especially the least reached) to better understand, worship and share God;
  • Mobile Advance, whose mission and vision is connecting the unreached with the good news and church of Jesus Christ through the device that connects them with the world – the mobile phone;
  • International Mission Mobilization, whose passion is to share the gospel “From Everywhere to Everywhere,” mobilizing missionaries within the majority world to fulfill the Great Commandment of worldwide evangelization;
  • Missionary Training Colleges (MTCs), cross-cultural schools that are dedicated to training and equipping students both theologically and practically to serve God in cross-cultural situations. Our MTCs are: Cornerstone (Netherlands) Eastwest (New Zealand) Latino Americano (Brazil), and Worldview (Australia).     

WEC

 

TELL US ONE STORY THAT EXCITES YOU FROM WHAT WEC IS DOING.

WEC founder C. T. Studd said, “If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”

The continuing story of WECers sacrificing deeply to reach the lost and of God using those sacrifices for good is really inspiring!

THE DAVIS FAMILY’S STORY

The Davis* family suffered the tragic loss of their toddler in an accident while serving overseas. After coming home to bury their child, they decided they must return to the people their hearts longed to reach.

There they held a Christian memorial service for their child, which their neighbors from another religion attended. Witnessing this family’s suffering, the people were more open to the gospel. And some have now become followers of Jesus!

While still grieving their deep loss, the family rejoices that God is using their sacrifice to bring freedom to others.

EVAN’S STORY

Evan* is a young man who works among one of the least reached people groups in the world, one well-known for violence.

When warned that his life would be at risk, he said, “It doesn’t matter if I die. I already know Jesus. But I have to go, because they don’t know Him!”

God is blessing Evan’s work, and he rejoices that many in this people group are now followers of Jesus. Some are even going out as missionaries to their neighbors!

KAITLYN’S STORY

Kaitlyn* took a short-term trip to work among Syrian refugee women and children. One of the women Kaitlyn served told her she must be crazy to leave her comfortable home and come to such a harsh place.

The woman implored, “Please send more crazy people!”

We pray for more people who are crazy about Jesus and about the lost to join us soon, so we can continue to be His hands and heart to the world!

WEC 3

WEC’s Organizational culture in five words. Go.

  • Christ-centered.
  • Prayerful.
  • Diverse.
  • Sacrificial.
  • Innovative.

What’s distinctive about WEC?

Multicultural Teams

Our missionaries come from five continents and 58 countries. For nearly half of us, English is not our first language. Diversity enlarges our teams’ worldviews and reduces the danger of imposing our home cultures on the churches we plant.

Living Simply

WECers accept that obeying Jesus’ call to missions means following Him on a journey that includes sacrificing earthly treasures that don’t last to pursue heavenly ones that do.

No Financial Appeals

God has led us to adopt a financial policy that gives visible evidence to His worthiness of our trust. We seek His kingdom first, communicate with others about what God is doing in our lives and ministry, and trust Him to provide what He already knows we need, without us making appeals for funds.

Member Care

We are intentional about helping our workers to stay healthy, resilient and effective in the demanding situations of life and ministry.

You can learn more about these and other distinctives of WEC here.

Let’s talk brass tacks. Tell us about WEC’s application and training process.

WEC is an international organization, and each branch varies somewhat in the application and training process.

  1. The process for long-term missions through WEC USA begins with filling out this contact form on-line or emailing our First Response Team at contact.us@wec-usa.org
  2. A member of our mobilization team contacts the inquirer.
  3. If we determine individuals are ready to begin the two-part application process, we’ll walk through it with them.
  4. Once this process is completed and WEC and the individuals agree that we are a good ministry fit, they will enter a 13-week candidate orientation, which includes
    • taking classes on many topics related to WEC, missions, cross-cultural preparation, etc.
    • working alongside of WEC staff in various roles
    • completing one week of ministry
    • participating in prayer meetings and events on campus, etc.
  5. At the end of the orientation, candidates will receive a formal invitation to join WEC, followed by a graduation ceremony we call The Right Hand of Fellowship (Galatians 2:9 NIV).

Short-term workers (those going out anywhere from one week on teams to up to two years as individuals) complete a similar application process and attend a five-day, eight-day, or one-month orientation, depending on the length of their trip.

What kind of global workers is WEC looking for? Feel free to paint us a word picture. 

We are looking for people from a wide variety of backgrounds and skill sets whose core passion is loving Christ, who are passionate about sharing Christ, who make prayer integral to everything they do, and who are willing to live out the Four Pillars of WEC:

  • Faith
  • Holiness
  • Sacrifice
  • Fellowship

WECers should also be able to remain flexible in our changing world, while not compromising the truth. As we are called to be “all things to all people so that by all possible means [we] might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22b NIV), we seek to invest time in understanding people’s lives, cultures and needs and how best to reach them, instead of stubbornly sticking to “how things have always been done.”

What characteristics cause you concern in an applicant?

Serving cross-culturally and in multicultural teams can be very stressful.

So we tell candidates, “If you don’t deal with your stuff while you are here, you will have to deal with it on the field.”

We would be concerned about applicants who:

  • are not able to identify areas of weakness they struggle with, or who had recent moral issues they have not dealt with
  • are “Lone Rangers”, those who don’t have a sending church or prayer partners.
  • have no overseas experience, or who have never lived away from home or held a steady job. We would suggest such applicants take a short-term trip before considering long-term service.

We recommend couples be married for at least one year before applying to serve long-term.

Tell us anything we missed that you’d like to mention about WEC.

Our WEC USA branch located in Philadelphia needs you! We are seeking behind-the-scenes workers to help equip and support our workers around the world.

There are both long-term positions and short-term volunteer positions available. Each position involves trusting God for financial support, just as our overseas/international missionaries do. We are specifically looking for people to serve in the following positions:

  • Mobilizers/Recruiters; Short-Term Department Workers
  • Member Care Counselors
  • Digital Media Creators and Designers
  • Kitchen Assistants; Childcare Workers
  • Missionary Kid Department Workers
  • Accommodations Assistants
  • Maintenance Workers
  • Accountants
  • Finance Office Workers
  • IT Specialists
  • Receptionist/Administrative Assistant

Interested? Fill out this contact form online or email our First Response Team at contact.us@wec-usa.org.

What advice would you give to someone considering going overseas?

  • Make prayer your first priority, seeking God’s will and empowering for your life and ministry.
  • Have a core team of prayer partners committed to praying for you and your ministry.
  • Take Bible classes, and dig deep into His Word.
  • Have an experienced missionary mentor you.
  • Faithfully serve in your home church and local community.
  • Take a short-term trip. (These trips are available through WEC.)
  • Gather as much information as possible about missions and the people/country you hope to reach.
  • Get training in whatever area you would like to serve in.
  • Have a skill that can lead to a job in the country where you will serve.

*not their real names

AND DON’T MISS…

Meet an Agency: Avant

Reading Time: 5 minutes

We heart this new, ongoing series–a virtual trip to the coffee shop with organizations to help you go there, serve Him, and love them even better. (For more thoughts about why you might join an agency–and a handful of reasons you might not–make sure to check out He Said/She Said/You Say? “Should I go overseas with an organization?”, both the pros and the cons.)

Today, we’re grabbing a pumpkin spice latte (of course) with Avant Ministries.

TELL US WHAT YOUR AGENCY SPECIALIZES IN. WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT?

More than 2 billion people still need to hear the gospel.

That is why Avant exists.

Through church planting, church support ministries, media, education, camp and business, we hope to establish churches among the unreached: mature, nationally-led churches that desire to plant more churches, first in their own city, and then all over the world.

 

HOW LONG has Avant BEEN AROUND, AND HOW LARGE ARE YOU GUYS? IN WHAT COUNTRIES ARE YOUR GLOBAL WORKERS LOCATED?

Since 1892, Avant Ministries has focused on planting and developing the church in the unreached areas of the world.

Avant currently serves in 50 countries around the world with more than 500 missionaries. We have missionaries throughout Central and Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

map avant

TELL US ONE STORY THAT EXCITES YOU FROM WHAT YOUR ORGANIZATION IS DOING.

One of our teams in Asia uses business as a way to build relationships. And it’s leading to gospel conversations like this one our team member encountered with “Nimpha”. He writes,

“Nimpha” is a mid-30s professional here in South East Asia. She’s grew up surrounded by the ancestral traditions that most families practice here. Last fall, she began working for a foreign-run NGO that also employs several like-minded people. Their disposition towards life and work impressed her, so she decided to join the Alpha Course that started in February.

She’s a perfect fit for how the course is designed: curious and seeking, but still slightly guarded and skeptical. Initially, she was quiet, but she began asking more and more questions as the weeks went on.

She consistently asked the best (and hardest) questions, and seemed equally interested in and confused by what we talked about. She was among the first to sign up for Beta as Alpha was drawing to a close.

Just as our study was about to start, a huge thunderstorm rolled over the city and prevented almost everyone from coming, save 5 of us who met together, one of whom was Nimpha. I began by reading Paul’s letter to Colossians 1:15-20, which opened the conversation wide up!

Over the next hour and a half, the seekers asked question after question, each more earnest than the last. They asked, how we can genuinely be hopeful? What do we do when life is difficult? How does the Father actually comfort us in those times? Why do we care so much about sharing our hope with other people? How Jesus has tangibly affected our lives?

My co-leader and I got to witness to the person and nature of our hope for almost 2 hours! Towards the end, I could see Nimpha smiling and holding back tears. I asked her, “Do you want to follow Jesus tonight?” She said, “Not quite yet, but I do want the hope you have. Maybe soon.”

The other participant echoed her sentiment. At the end of the evening, we talked to our Father for a moment.

When we finished, she told us, “I thanked Him that both of you decided to come in the rain tonight and that we had a really good conversation.”

5 WORDS TO DESCRIBE YOUR ORGANIZATION’S CULTURE. GO.

 

  • Church-planting
  • Care
  • Collaborate
  • Create
  • Unreached-focused

LET’S TALK BRASS TACKS. GIVE US THE 411 ON YOUR APPLICATION AND TRAINING PROCESS.

Obviously, cross-cultural service is a peculiar and demanding task. We want to make sure our members are as prepared as possible to handle normal facets of life while living in a foreign context; that they have an “eyes wide open” view of what they are about to do.

We’d want to see patterns of life from our applicants having already shown a proficiency to contextualize and share the gospel and the ability to adjust to environments that are often filled with change and the need to be flexible.

Once a candidate completes the application process, they receive training stateside to prepare them for overseas ministry.

Ongoing mentorship opportunities are available when they arrive on the field.

WHAT KIND OF GLOBAL WORKERS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR at Avant? PAINT US A WORD PICTURE.

While what matters to us most is your church, your call, and your doctrinal alignment, there’s this idea called the ‘Avant Mindset’ that we’re always looking for. It’s characterized by constant tension. Avant people are confident, but it’s a confidence rooted in God’s promises and checked by our humble awareness of weakness. Avant people are urgent about planting churches, but it’s checked by a patience rooted in prayer. We take risks, we persevere, we’re committed, and adaptable. These are the kind of learners we’re looking for, too.

WHAT WOULD YOU CONSIDER “RED FLAGS” IN THE APPLICATION PROCESS?

It can be concerning when someone pursues missions with no experience or engagement with people from other contexts/cultures. And it’s often tricky when someone expresses a “call” to missions from a place of isolation and no experience of life in another culture with no affirmation in this type of ministry from the people that are closest to them.

We appreciate when close friends, family members and the local church have seen flexibility and other character traits and a propensity towards missions/cross cultural church planting and can affirm God’s calling on their life.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE LOOKING IN AN OVERSEAS DIRECTION?

Talk to your church leaders and “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Timothy 4:5). Talking to your church leaders prevents you from moving forward on faulty foundations like youthful ambition and Messianic complexes. Letting others speak into your weaknesses with spiritual authority is a surety when stepping into the volatile life of a missionary.

Secondly, don’t think you’ll do something overseas that you wouldn’t do in your own environment.

If you’re acting as an ambassador for Christ now, we urge you to consider those with no church or missionary.

Like this post? You might like

Meet an Agency: MDE

Reading Time: 5 minutes

We heart this new, ongoing series–a virtual trip to the coffee shop with organizations to help you go there, serve Him, and love them even better.

(For more thoughts about why you might join an agency–and a handful of reasons you might not–make sure to check out He Said/She Said/You Say? “Should I go overseas with an organization?”, both the pros and the cons.)

Because of 4.3 billion unreached–requiring more manpower than traditional missions–we’re devoting an entire month to marketplace missions, or BAM (Business As Mission).

You might be amazed by its effectiveness.

Today, we’re grabbing a soy hazelnut latte with MDE (Marketplace & Development Enterprises)–even though they’re not your typical agency. 

Read on.

TELL US WHAT YOUR AGENCY SPECIALIZES IN. WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT?

Well, first off, we should tell you we’re not a missions agency. We’re actually a service organization.

We specialize in providing business, vocational, missional, and personal services to fellow believers who want to make money and make disciples in unreached communities around the world.

We are passionate about

  • serving fellow believers—helping them get the support they need to achieve those goals.
  • business.
  • marketplace missions, and how quickly believers can develop deep, authentic relationships with those who don’t know Jesus by working alongside them in their marketplaces.
  • community—building networks of fellow Christians serving one another in the workplace and at home.

business MDE

HOW LONG HAs MDE BEEN AROUND, AND HOW LARGE ARE YOU GUYS? IN WHAT COUNTRIES ARE YOUR GLOBAL WORKERS LOCATED?

We are young! We just celebrated 4 years of serving marketplace workers.

But we’ve got hundreds of believers in our service network supporting our 30-40 client members working in multiple countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe.

We don’t focus on countries per se–because we’re not recruiting people to place them on our teams, but rather build networks to support them where God is leading them to go.

God’s allowed us to build a support team around our members no matter where they’ve landed (or intend to land).

TELL US ONE STORY THAT EXCITES YOU FROM WHAT YOUR ORGANIZATION IS DOING.

A young engineer was transferred to Germany for a six-month stint. She joined us at MDE, received some quick training (because she was heading out in four weeks), and was connected to our support system.

While there, she met a co-worker from China and invited her to church. After developing a relationship, she gave her an English/Chinese Bible and corresponds with the co-worker to this day.

Reaching those who don’t know Jesus starts by simply going and working with the unreached in their world.

5 WORDS TO DESCRIBE MDE’s CULTURE. GO.

  • Authentic.
  • Responsive.
  • Flexible.
  • Effective.
  • Dedicated.

WHAT’S DISTINCTIVE ABOUT YOU GUYS?

Being a service organization rather than a missions agency means we consider each member to be a client whom we serve—not an employee to serve us. You don’t join MDE’s team. You hire us to join yours.

Our focus is providing individualized services to each person who employs us to help them.

Another key distinctive is that we connect our member clients to service providers:

  • accountants who provide accounting services
  • marketers who develop marketing plans
  • lawyers who draft needed contracts
  • graphic designers who create business logos
  • …you get the idea.

They not only provide advice on how to do something. They’ll either do it for you or with you.

business MDE

LET’S TALK BRASS TACKS. GIVE US THE 411 ON MDE’s APPLICATION AND TRAINING PROCESS.

MDE approaches this differently, too.

Our application process consists of a form designed to give us basic information about our applicants and to confirm that their values align with ours.

Basically, we are looking for Christians who truly want to be in the workplace, either as employees or entrepreneurs, and who truly want to be intentional about developing authentic relationshipstaking both the presence and the message of Jesus to their co-workers and neighbors.

We’ve had numerous people apply, be approved, and start partnering with MDE in less than two weeks.

As for training, we don’t have an MDE built-and-run program for our members. Instead, we have identified key components that we have found to be important to help people be successful in business, in being disciple-makers, and in being good disciples.

MDE partners with a variety of training organizations and works to match our members with the needed training that fits their schedule and budget. There are hundreds of great training programs out there with a vast array of materials that cover every aspect of cross-cultural life and work. We don’t need to reinvent this wheel.

WHAT KIND OF GLOBAL WORKERS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? PAINT US A WORD PICTURE.

We are looking for people who

  • love our Lord and are committed to building relationships with unbelievers and being intentional about loving them and sharing truth with them
  • desire support and accountability
  • want to work hard at their job and be willing to push themselves to be the people God wants them to be, doing the things God wants them to do. Our members do not need to have any particular skill or experience.

WHAT WOULD YOU CONSIDER “RED FLAGS” IN THE APPLICATION PROCESS?

We really are only a good fit for someone who wants to travel down the marketplace/business/vocational side of life and who want to do so in an unreached community. (This could be in a reached country, but in a community that isn’t yet reached.)

MDE’s entire system is built to support those passionate about making money and making disciples in and through the marketplaces of unreached communities. If a BAM business collapses, the ministry possibilities usually do as well.

If someone does not want to do both, we are not the organization for them.

business MDE

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE LOOKING IN AN OVERSEAS DIRECTION?

Go for it through the marketplace!

The world has changed dramatically over the last few years. Living globally has become significantly easier. With all the advances in travel and communication, going to live overseas is not the dramatic or traumatic event it used to be.

It’s still hard and has numerous challenges, but it is definitely easier than the get-on-a-boat-and-pack-a-trunk days.

Starting your career down the marketplace missions path is almost always a benefit regardless of your final destination.

Living and working overseas has gone from being frowned upon by employers to being an asset.

From a personal perspective, if you go with the right attitude and support, it can be life changing.

One young woman fresh out of college taught in and helped develop a BAM venture in northern Africa. She told us she “grew up…a lot”—learning to become an advocate for herself, to develop a support system, to find community, to know and trust in the power of Jesus.

And you don’t have to make a life-time commitment: Two years is usually long enough to learn and grow and make a difference if you are working and seeking to be missional in the business world.

English is the recognized international business language. While learning the local language is a huge benefit that we highly recommend, you don’t have to become fluent to get involved and make an immediate impact.

LIKE THIS POST? YOU MIGHT LIKE OUR WHOLE MEET AN AGENCY SERIES! CLICK HERE!
AND DON’T MISS…