5 Things to Consider!
Are you searching for the perfect mission agency?
Perhaps one of the most important decisions you will have to make as you start out your missionary career is:
Which mission agency should you join?
As you are aware, there are tons of great sending agencies around the world. How in the world can you find one that fits your calling? Over the years, we have seen that there are a number of key factors to consider when choosing the right mission agency.
1. Organizational Values
Perhaps the most important item to consider is their vision and values.
There is nothing worse than getting hooked up with an organization that does not hold your same vision and values.
Make sure that you read their full company documentation, statement of faith and vision. Along with the written information, you should try to talk with as many people as possible involved with the organization. If possible, talk to overseas workers as well as staff that work in the home office. Ask the questions that really matter to you. Try to find out if your vision aligns with theirs!
2. Philosophy of Team
Another topic you might want to consider is their philosophy of team. There are some organizations that place a high value on team-ship, while others don’t mind sending you out on your own. I actually am not saying one is better than the other, however, you will need to make sure their model fits with your needs.
If you are looking for a tight team with high accountability, make sure that you find a mission agency that develops strong teams. Perhaps you can visit a team in the field to experience first hand how their teams are run. If you would rather be on your own, you will need to make sure your organization allows that.
3. Countries of Work
This might be an obvious one, however, you will want to make sure the mission agency works in your country of calling. The reason that I bring this up is because some mission agencies DO NOT advertise every country where they work.
Because of security issues, many missions do not list their creative access countries.
I would encourage you to not only do research online, but also call the mission organizations and ask for more specific information. They might be hesitant to give you information on the phone, but as you earn their trust, they may share where they work.
4. View of Contextualization
A hot topic today is in the area of contextualization! There are many differing views on:
Although I have very strong views on contextualization, I believe you need to make sure the mission agency that you are joining shares your views. It is extremely difficult when team members have opposing views in the area of contextualization. I would encourage you to ask the mission agency for their stand on contextualization and the “common ground” ideas.
5. Pre-field Requirements
The final thing to consider is what the mission requires before you can head to the field. Pre-field training is very important, however, you will need to decide to what extent. Some missions require 1 year of Bible training, while others ask for a seminary degree. There are organizations that expect 100% of your financial support to be pledged before departure, while others allow for “more faith.” There might be requirements on language learning, business training, or life experience. Make sure that you are fully onboard with the requirements of the organization you choose.
The Real Key!
Obviously the Lord’s leading is the key to choosing a mission organization! Make sure you spend time seeking His face before making your decision.