10 Tips To Finding Your Perfect Fit
1 Oct 2018
Are you sensing God’s leading to serve in cross cultural ministry? With so many mission organisations to choose from, how do you find the right organisation that will embrace your unique personality, gifts and skills?
Here’s some tips on how to find the right fit for you:
1. Where to Look
You’ll need to do some research to find out who’s who and what they do. You can find out a lot of information on individual websites, so that’s a great place to start. You can talk to missionaries you know or church leaders to get their impressions and recommendations. But to really get a feel for a mission organisation, you should try and arrange a face to face meeting with someone on their team. That will give you a much better sense of who they are and allow you to ask your specific questions. A great way to check out a bunch of organisations all in one day is to go to a mission expo, where you can talk to a wide range of people involved in mission. You can find a list of missions expos here.
Remember that serving in missions is God’s call on your life, and it’s his lead you want to be following. Bathe each step forward in prayer, asking for God to light up the right path.
3. Beliefs and Values
For each mission organisation you investigate, look at their beliefs and values. You should be able to find their mission statement, their biblical beliefs (Statement of Faith), and the values that affect the way they function.
4. Where, why and how
What specific countries do they serve in, or do they focus on specific people groups? Why are they sending people? What are their ministry goals, what are they trying to achieve, and what priority is given to sharing the gospel? What do they do, what kinds of ministry activities and or projects do they use to work towards their goals? How do they work with local churches in the countries they serve?
Meet with staff from the organisation so you can get to know the “personality” of the organisation. Are they approachable, do they make it easy to meet with them, and are they flexible with their communication pathways eg: email, phone, skype, WhatsApp? How do you see the team living out the organisational values? Did they listen to what you had to say, and were they able to provide answers to the questions you asked?
6. Decision Making
What is the leadership structure of the organisation here in Australia? How are decisions made, by the central leadership or is decision making decentralised to the on-field teams?
Are there any pre-requisites to serve, or specific health or other requirements? Are there requirements that you don’t meet at present, but that you could work towards attaining in preparation to go?
How does missionary support and payments work? How are donations managed? How do you raise support? Are there agency admin fees? What will you need in place before you can go?
9. Preparation and support
How would the agency help you prepare to serve cross culturally? What training is required or recommended, and will mentoring be provided? What kind of support does the organisation offer once you begin serving?
10. Church Partnership
How does the organisation build relationship with your sending church, and at what point in your journey are church-organisation connections initiated?
Don’t forget to keep praying. The Lord has good plans for your future. Keep on asking for him to guide you.
Missions Interlink is an Australian network for global mission. Most Australian Christian mission organisations are members of Missions Interlink. They have a list of members organisations on their website, so if you want to start with a wide search you could start there.