As you begin to think about your BAM ministry, you will want to make sure that you lay a solid foundation. PREPARATION is one way that you begin to create a foundation that will last a lifetime. We should take a lesson from the Boy Scout’s motto, “Be prepared.”
The first area that you need to prepare is your spiritual life. Remember that you are heading out into the battlefield.
Satan is not pleased that you are looking to take new ground for Christ, so you will be attacked. Each day you need to spend time with the Lord grounding yourself in his word and truth. I
try to daily to intentionally put on the spiritual armor of the Lord in preparation for the fight. Worship, reading, and prayer are ways that you can equip yourself for the spiritual battlefield.
Also remember that you will often be the one pouring out to the lost and needy…this can be draining. Make sure that you are feeding yourself whether through Bible study, sermon, worship music or spending time with believers.
One of the key values that our organization holds is learning the local language. People who learn the local language are much more comfortable in the culture and proclaiming the truth of Jesus.
We encourage our people to spend a full year or even two years learning language.
Remember that language learning is ministry…the more people you talk to and learn from, the more people you have an opportunity to shine the light of Jesus to.
One thing that tentmakers struggle with is the balance of spending time learning the new language, yet also being required to establish a professional identity. No matter what, committing to language learning is a nonnegotiable for an longterm tentmaker.
Set up your schedule to include an hour or two of dedicated learning, plus use it everyday when you are out setting up your business.
Cultural / Religion training
One thing that can be done before you set out to your new country is to begin to study and learn about the host culture. Finding books and information about the people and culture can be very valuable.
Remember that books are written from one persons perspective, so make sure you continue to check the information once you arrive on scene.
Learning more about the local religion can also be very useful. There is nothing like hands-on training, but reading books and attending classes by veteran Christian workers can be very valuable.
There is tons of great information about culture and religion, so make sure you spend some time taking advantage of this fountain of resources.
One area that many Christian workers fail to spend time in preparation for is their professional identity. If you are heading into a closed country as a business person, make sure you spend some time learning about business.
I can tell you of many stories of people who did not prepare for their professional identity and spent many years struggling with their identity, both internally and externally.
Make sure that you spend time preparing for your identity (profile).