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Mentoring Missionary Candidates

The role of the local church in raising up, developing and preparing new missionaries is essential. As one missiologist said, “Mission agencies don’t grow their own missionaries.” The church is the breeding and training ground. And it is called, capable and competent to help prepare cross-cultural workers for the harvest. 

Besides the preaching of the Word, prayer for missionaries who are already serving on the field during the services, Bible studies and other church-related activities, one of the most effective ways to develop new missionaries is a mentoring program. The role of a mentor in the process can be highly effective.

What should be covered in the preparation process?
  1. Development of godly character
    1. Intimacy with Jesus
  2. Development of personal skills 
    1. Emotional Intelligence
    2. Cultural Intelligence
    3. Health and rhythm of life concerns (Sabbath, exercise, nutrition, sleep)
    4. Relationships
  3. Development of ministry skills
    1. Bible
    2. Theology
    3. Ecclesiology
    4. Missiology
    5. Christian Leadership
What is the process?
Rev. Greg Carter, the author of Skills, Knowledge, Character: A Church-based Approach to Missionary Candidate Preparation gives a helpful outline, which has been adapted to the World Witness context.
The process includes a four-phase journey:
  1. Interest – a person who is open to the idea of missions but unsure of God’s leading; the focus is on character development
  2. Exploration and Commitment – the person begins an in-depth investigation into missions; focus is on development of personal skills
  3. Preparation – the person begins the application process with World Witness; focus is on development of ministry skills
  4. Appointment – the candidate has completed the candidate requirements for World Witness, has been approved by the Board and is beginning final preparation for launching including development of support base

Need More Info?

For those interested in receiving more information about the process itself, some practical suggestions of what should happen in each phase and an extended suggested reading list, please contact Heiko Burklin, Mission Developer at hburklin@worldwitness.org.

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