The means of achieving the desired end results vary widely, depending on who you ask and what is their frame of reference in training. You should examine the previous sections of this chapter on the website and take a look at the free resources provided as downloadable PDF documents.

Common consensus indicates that the typical process proceeds as follows, not necessarily in exact order:

  • an individual indicates to their church and/or church missions leadership that they are seriously considering missionary service in the future
  • the church or church missions leadership takes note and assigns a mentor, prayer partner, and/or trainer to begin the training process
  • the candidate is assigned and tracked through various church ministry responsibilities, including some leadership and management of other people
  • the candidate is placed or guided in specific cross-cultural experiences and observed, debriefed, and evaluated
  • the candidate takes a short-term missions survey trip to the church guided field of choice or one very similar in cultural and geographical characteristics
  • the candidate in roles in classes to obtain formal training in Bible, theology, and missions
  • the candidate is given specific, in-depth examination and counsel with respect to past or present behaviors and experiences which might impinge on their Christian testimony and character
  • church leadership tracks with and observes the development of the candidate throughout the whole process and makes gracious, discerning judgment about the fitness and calling of this candidate for the field
  • the church leadership and candidate together research and decide upon the most effective mission agency partner to facilitate the candidates final preparation, support, and departure for the field
  • the church provides a support team of individuals committed to pray for, resource, and advocate for “their missionary” on a continuing basis
  • the missionary, church leaders, and support team continue to evaluate concerns and opportunities on a continuing basis

Serving As Senders

Loving the Church and Blessing the Nations