One of your most important choices en route to the field is the mission agency with which you serve. Under the guidance of your sending church, you should research and compare several key issues.
1. Do you heartily agree with the agency’s doctrinal statement? Will you be able to work graciously with any people who will also agree with this doctrinal statement? (For example, if the statement of faith does not include convictions on the sacraments, you may work with people who believe either in believers’ baptism, or covenant infant baptism.)
2. Do you agree with the agency’s purpose (mission statement)? Is the agency ultimately planting churches or digging water wells? Does it work among people who have more or less access to the gospel?
3. How does the agency partner with the local church? Does it value the local church’s spiritual authority over you? Will it listen to your church’s input and advice?
4. Do you fit well with the agency’s “ethos”? This is expressed by its core values and the kind of people who work for the agency. For example, do you sense a climate of grace and flexibility? Do people seem to enjoy each other and work well together? Does its culture match its stated core values?
5. Does the agency prepare its members well?
6. Will you be working under seasoned leaders on the field who are prepared to mentor you?
7. How does the agency provide care for its members?
8. How does the agency relate to the national church on the field, if a national church exists? Does the agency ignore or work around the national church, or seek to partner with it whenever possible?
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