Keeping mission vision alive and growing A quarterly publication of Mission Data International

Want to be a Missionary? Help is on the Way!

By M-DAT Executive Director

Becoming a full-time missionary is simple. Just join an organization, raise support, and go — right? While technically accurate, this summary glosses over the challenging decision making process. Serious questions and issues involved with each step can literally take years to solve.

In fact, the average length of time from when a person decides to be a missionary and when they join an agency is seven to ten years. A look at a list of factors which heighten the decision making process gives a clue as to why it takes so long:

  • An overall need for a sense of God’s direction or affirmation of timing, type of service, sending organization, and geographic location
  • The weight of responsibility for the impact of decisions on immediate family
  • The seriousness of the commitment
  • Public scrutiny of decisions by friends, family, and church leadership
  • Known and unknown risks and personal sacrifices
  • The complex planning and logistics involved in moving a family to another country and switching to a job requiring support raising.

Here at M-DAT, we are working on a resource that will make quite a difference. It is a website with guidance and advice to encourage and assist aspiring missionaries in a fresh and relevant way. Currently under the name, we released an initial version last year with basic helps for people interested in becoming a missionary. This Spring, we will expand the website to include video content and a more interactive version of the mission readiness quiz. We aim to gradually ramp up to a weekly release of five varieties of video clips:

  1. Interviews of on-field missionaries about pivotal moments in their journey to the mission field.
  2. Missionaries answering common questions asked by potential missionaries.
  3. Snapshots of specific mission fields which report ministry strategies, describe unique challenges, and highlight current needs.
  4. Short tours of mission headquarters with an overview of the mission and vision of the organization and glimpse of the organizational culture.
  5. Interviews with people who are in the process of getting to the field or who have just made it to the field.

All of these videos will be topically indexed and easily available for future missionaries to access advice when they need it, or just to watch and be encouraged as they see how God has worked in the lives of others on the journey. The long range plan is to grow the website “organically” by adding content in response to needs expressed by visitors.

If you are on the path to becoming a full-time missionary, we need your input to help shape this new web resource! Please help us out by taking this survey. Thanks!

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