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

Archive for the ‘Mentoring’ Category

Mentoring for Missions: Andy’s Story

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Coaching helped Andy prepare for ministry in East Asia – and wherever God may take him next.

Andy is a few years out of college. He’s spent six months in East Asia, though now he’s back home. Recently Propel interviewed Andy about influential people in his life who mentored him for missions. “I had two great coaches on the way to the field,” he explained. “They did life with me. They made me do ministry with them before I went, not top down but side by side.”

“Also, they didn’t remove the obstacles, they helped me overcome them. If they had removed barriers I wouldn’t have been ready for the field.”

To discover some ways you can profit from mission coaching or be effective coaching people like Andy, read on.

Getting Started

Propel: How would you describe your journey into missions?

Andy: I started taking my faith seriously when I was in high school and was growing like crazy. My youth pastor had just emerged as a mission leader. That was a new passion for him. Since he was discipling me, it carried over. This was right in the middle of that season when “take your youth group to Mexico” was the thing. As I observed the missionaries we were working with there, I felt as if God was saying to me, “What you see them doing, I want you to do that.”


How Do You Find a Mission Mentor?

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

mentoringMany of those we serve through went on mission trips this summer! After they return, then what? Anyone whose purpose in going was to explore long-term direction – or who came back thinking that way – needs some extra help.

Mission mobilization and service groups like ours provide encouragement and virtual coaching. Another very helpful resource for anyone charting a course from short-term to long-term is a mission mentor who can walk alongside them on a journey of months or years. Yet how do you find such a mission mentor?

Many of the sending agencies we work with have mission coaches and mentors on their staff. These servants like nothing better than to talk to people interested in going, hear their stories, and encourage them along the way.

Mission agency staff have experience and expertise to offer, but they aren’t the only option, as Elizabeth Givens, of SEND International, points out. “Does your church have a mentoring program for those interested in missions? Ask your pastor. Are there retired missionaries in your circle of friends or your church? Look around for a man or woman you admire and with whom you feel you could connect. Then ask them if you can meet with them regularly and learn from them in a mentoring relationship.”

“Mentoring does not have to be face-to-face,” she adds. “You may have an experienced missionary in your life who would be willing to connect with you regularly on email, Skype, or Facetime. You can each brew your OWN cup of coffee and plunge into the conversation.”

» Want to find a mentor – or be one? Read the rest of Elizabeth’s answer and others at How do I find a mentor to help me prepare for missions? (

Begin motivating your church to missions in 2011

Monday, March 7th, 2011

by David Armstrong

How can small churches motivate their people to missions?

As a leader of a small church, let me first recognize the very limited time a pastor or leader of a small church has to focus on any one thing. Pastors and leaders in small churches do everything from sweeping the floor to teaching the Word to settling petty arguments. And those things happen when they happen, not when you want them to happen.

So how in that busy, unpredictable setting does one motivate people to missions? My best response is — intentionally. It won’t happen by chance. Everything else will work to keep it at the bottom of the pile of good things to do.

As you start 2011, start by defining what two things you would like to see happen in your church in terms of mission emphasis. Make one of those goals educational in nature. Help them to better understand what God is doing around the world today. Help them understand what missions really is. Help them understand more clearly God’s heart of compassion. Help them visualize how they could be Jesus’ hands and feet in our really messed up world.

There are resources available to help you in this endeavor. You don’t have to be the expert, but not just anyone will do. Hand pick a missionary who has helped you better understand what God is doing around the world and have him speak. They need to be able to relate to your people and communicate in ways your people find interesting. (more…)

The Transformational Small Church

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Originally posted to Ed Stetzer’s blog, the following article by Nathan James — co-pastor of Epoch Church in Little Rock, Arkansas — looks at various aspects of being a Transformational Small Church.

At times it may seem that small churches can do little for the kingdom because of limited resources. But in reality we are all called to reach the nations, and every church is empowered by the gospel to make a global impact, regardless of size. Nathan is here today to address that very issue.

Mobilizing People For Missions

God can transform your life and show you his heart for the nations if you allow him. I had one of those experiences not long ago when our church took its first international mission trip. I had the chance to lead a team of twelve to serve the Lord in Haiti on July 4th, 2010. I had been on an international trip before, but this was the church’s first. I want to point out something I was starkly reminded of: When you are willing to follow the Lord’s mandate to reach the nations, then it is as if God pulls back the curtains and gives you a wider kingdom perspective. The way you pray changes. When you pray, Our Lord, it has a whole new meaning. The way you worship in song changes. When you sing, “How Great is Our God,” your worldview broadens. The way you see those around you changes. When someone is hurting, you have a keener sense of compassion. Are you willing to allow the Lord to broaden your kingdom perspective? (more…)

Interview with John McVay: Mentoring for Missions

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

by Paul Nielsen

M-DAT has been good friends with mission mobilizer John McVay for ten years now. His projects have included mission conferences and websites along with his service with In His Image, which trains medical professionals for Christian service. In this interview he talks specifically about mentoring the next generation of missionaries.

Propel: When and how did you become involved and interested in missions as a mobilizer?

John McVay: I read an illustration by Ralph Winter who said, “If you see a roaring fire you can grab your bucket, run to the stream, then run to the fire and pour water on it—and you can do that repeatedly. Or you could wake 100 sleeping firemen.” Missions mobilization is waking the 100 sleeping firemen. In my current season of life God is guiding me to wake the 100 sleeping firemen.

Propel: What is the importance of mentoring in the context of missions?

John McVay: Most aspiring missionaries struggle with feelings of inadequacy. They need mentors to encourage them to abide in Christ and trust in His strength. (more…)

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