One of the distinguishing characteristics of a long-term effective missionary is their passion for lifelong learning. This is evidenced in their persistent practice of asking questions to learn more about language and culture, current mission trends, church planting, leadership, biblical discipleship in counseling, working with people, etc. The church has a role in encouraging lifelong learning behaviors. It can do this through graciously urging their sent missionary workers to set personal development goals. The church can also provide for training opportunities, seminars, resource books and materials, time away from the ministry or home assignment responsibilities, a study leave or sabbatical, etc.
Because most missionaries have some form of regular Internet communication, the church can provide some spiritual nurture through downloadable sermons and resources online. If you are pastor attends a spiritual enrichment conference for pastors during your missionaries furlough or home assignment, provide for your missionary worker to go along with him.
Some overseas workers require continuing education units or certification classes in order to retain their license in their specialized field of work. Upgrades and technical education or advanced degrees as a product of ongoing studies are not unusual opportunities, if your missionary is so inclined. The basic role of the church in the process is to stimulate and encourage your missionary toward a humble teachability and thirst for growing in knowledge and wisdom so that they can be the best, most effective missionary possible for the glory of God.
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