Paul Seger, Biblical Ministries Worldwide
Our last post covered “Preparing for Ministry When You are Unsure of Your Calling.” Paul Seger continues our series, “Preparing for the Ministry,” by focusing on overseas work. He is part of a global mission agency that is “dedicated to advancing the glory of God through the gospel by enabling North American churches to send out their finest to establish reproducing churches around the world.”
Do you have what it takes?
Jesus said that you should not build a tower or go to war unless you first figure out whether you have what it takes (Luke 14). Therefore, before considering missions, it is important to ask the question: “Do I have what it takes.” The answer to that question should be answered in 3 different ways: (1) who you are, (2) what you know, (3) what you can do?
Who You Are
The qualifications of a missionary are the same as an elder (1 Timothy 3). These are all internal character qualities of godliness. This means that the missionary must have a level of spiritual maturity that is above and beyond the average Christian. In addition to this, there are also some other heart issues that are important.
Resilience: You must be able to bounce back. Being a missionary is a tough job.
Flexibility: Things will not be the same on a mission field as they are at home. You will not be able to control your environment or circumstances.
Tenacity: This is simply the ability to stay the course and endure difficult situations. The biblical word is “patience.”
Passion: You should have an enthusiasm that is obvious to others when it comes to both serving God and being a missionary.
Spousal Commitment: Do not consider becoming a missionary if your spouse does not have your devotion to missions.
Focus: You must have a clear understanding of your purpose or mission in life and then be able to stay focused on that calling.
Internally Motivated: Missionaries must be self-starters. There is no one looking over your shoulder telling you what to do hour-by-hour.
Humility: Missionaries are not empire builders, they are coaches who need a true spirit of humility to help others to succeed.
What You Know
It is critical that missionaries understand and have a clear grasp of theology. Unless you clearly understand the message, don’t try to deliver it. During Candidate Orientation you’ll take an exhaustive written exam to help evaluate your biblical and theological knowledge on all of the major doctrines.
What You Can Do
It is critical to be able to do ministry, not just know about it. The following 16 areas are important:
Evangelism: Can you relate to non-Christians, building relationships and explain the path to salvation?
Discipleship: Do you have experience in helping a new believer grow to spiritual maturity?
Exegetical Skills: Do you have the ability to apply hermeneutics and understand the text?
People Skills: Can you relate well to people on a personal level?
Counseling: Can you help people solve personal problems using the Bible?
Administration: Can you organize your life, prioritize your time, and manage the workload of ministry?
Strategic Planning: Can you chart a course and get “there?”
Writing Skills: Communication with supporters is your lifeline for prayer and finances.
Speaking: Can you to stand in front of a group and explain to others God’s calling in your life and teach scripture?
Time Management: Can you prioritize time, manage a daily schedule, and stay on track with the day-by-day commitments without supervision?
Financial Skills: Missionaries must manage their own finances well.
Language Learning: While a low aptitude for language learning does not disqualify anyone, most missionaries need to learn a language.
Cultural Awareness: Good missionaries are sensitive to the culture in which they work and can adapt to the positive sides of those cultures.
Computer Skills: It is the world we live in.
Conflict Resolution: Missionaries must have the skill of being able to manage difficult relationships and come to a biblical resolution of conflicts.
Teamwork: A missionary should have demonstrated the ability to work in a team and provide leadership for others.
At first glance it may appear very intimidating to think that you have to qualify in all of the areas above, but a mission agency can help you gain the adequate experience, knowledge, and character that is needed to succeed as a missionary. Even if you are not presently ready to meet all the qualifications, we can begin walking with you on this journey.
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The CGO Blog
Written by the CGO staff, with guest posts from students and other faculty/staff at BJU to provide thought leadership for missions in a new millennium.