What is the role of the local church in sending missionaries?

The local church is Biblically charged with proactively identifying, training and setting apart missionaries for service on the field. As the church ideally disciples all of its people, developing them into people who reproduce themselves spiritually, missionaries gain the basic skills of walking with God, and evangelizing and discipling others, in the local church context.

While people may initiate with their churches the process of becoming missionaries, the church ultimately approves a potential missionary’s preparedness to serve. The church is called to actively listen to God and proactively send out those who show promise for missions (Acts 13.1-3).

Once workers are deployed to the harvest fields, the church retains its spiritual authority over its missionaries. The church ideally stays in contact well enough to provide finances, spiritual and material care, and church discipline as needed. While the church is often unable to direct the missionary’s work on a daily basis, it should partner closely with sending agencies to play as substantial role as possible regarding the missionary’s ongoing work.

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