Tag - preparing for missions

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How to Be a Missionary with Student Debt
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Ask TEAM: What is the Most Important Thing in Christian Mission Work?
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6 Ways to Serve in Cross-Cultural Ministry Before the Mission Field
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How COVID-19 Can Prepare You for Missions
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How to Become a Missionary
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How Do I Become Qualified for Missions?
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4 Lessons from My First 5 Years on the Field
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‘We Don’t Want to be Heroes’: One Couple’s Church Planting Strategy
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Why Missions Can’t Fix Your Relationship with God
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When It Comes to Missions, God Can Use Your Baby Steps

How to Be a Missionary with Student Debt

  Let’s start with the good news: The world is full of missionaries who are happily serving in ministry while paying off their student debt. They aren’t all stellar financial planners, and they aren’t living in poverty to make it happen. In other words, you can be one of them. The tips I’m about to give you are simple and practical. I’m not going to tell you what to do, because every situation is different, and I am not a financial advisor. But I will share what’s worked for missionaries before you and share resources created for nonprofit workers. I’ll…

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Ask TEAM: What is the Most Important Thing in Christian Mission Work?

Brenda Matthews with Mexican believers
Missions is a complex topic, but the most important thing is actually quite simple. And getting this right will impact everything we do on the field.

With each generation, the Church learns (and forgets) vital factors of success in missions. We want to lead ministries that are authentic, culturally sensitive, holistic in care, empowering to local believers, effective in planting churches — the list goes on and on. All of these are important things, worthy of deep, rich discussion. But what is the most important thing in Christian mission work? The answer is simple: Jesus. As cliché as it sounds, Jesus really is the most important part of mission work. He’s at the center of it all, He’s the reason for it all, and He’s the…

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6 Ways to Serve in Cross-Cultural Ministry Before the Mission Field

Missionaries
The first step to serving God overseas is serving Him at home. Find out how these missionaries took their first steps! Photo courtesy of Kit Tischler.

If you’re the typical aspiring missionary, there’s a question you may be dreading: How are you making disciples in your everyday life? When you’re applying with quality missions agencies, the question is unavoidable. Before you go through the trouble of raising support, learning a new language and moving abroad, agencies want to know you have a good chance at success. “If a person isn’t involved in ministry and reaching out for the Lord back home, it will be even harder to do that when they arrive in a new culture,” says TEAM missionary Jann Vander Mey. But if you’re like…

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How COVID-19 Can Prepare You for Missions

Two men sit outside at a table and talk. Feature photo: Preparing for missions during COVID-19
COVID-19 has forced us to adapt and live our lives in ways we never have before — kind of like missionaries. Turns out, preparing for missions during COVID-19 has big advantages.

If you’re an aspiring missionary, COVID-19 may seem like a major roadblock to your plans. Short-term trips are being postponed. Carefully planned timelines for departure are now in shambles. And everyone keeps talking about how “the world will never be the same.” But Beth Fussner, a former missionary and TEAM’s learning and development project director, sees things with a bit more optimism. “There’s so many times when God’s people were on delays and detours. … And all of those things, when you look at the Scripture, at the stories, you realize that God either caused them or used them,” Fussner…

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How to Become a Missionary

A potential missionary sits with his friends to discuss how to become a missionary
Are you interested in becoming a missionary but don't know where to start? Look no further! We broke down the process into 5 main steps most missionaries go through!

The pursuit of becoming a missionary is ambiguous. It starts as a dream, and the process of taking it from a dream to reality includes a lot of little “next steps” that aren’t super clear.  In my role as a missions coach, that is exactly what I like to help people do. I help people take their best next step as they discern how God wants to use them in cross-cultural ministry. So, here is a simple overview of the main steps toward becoming a missionary. Talk with Your Church It’s easy to feel like cross-cultural mission work is an…

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How Do I Become Qualified for Missions?

A man reads a book at a Bible study
What does it really take to be a missionary? Keep reading to see some of the qualifications for being successful on the field!

As a missions coach, one of the questions I receive is, “What do I need to do to be qualified for missions?”  Many people nail down the “who” and the “where” before they address the “what” in their missionary call. But as one missionary in the Middle East, Neena*, explains, “Our ‘call’ to another country does not exempt us from any further duties.” When it comes to being effective cross-cultural witnesses, being strategically equipped is just as important has having a personal calling. For some, that equipping means attending seminary to be the best church leader you can be. For…

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4 Lessons from My First 5 Years on the Field

People pray together in a church in a different culture
Every missionary has to learn new cultures. But what if those cultural differences go deeper than you imagined? Learn about this and three other missionary lessons!

Recently, I celebrated the five-year anniversary of becoming a TEAM missionary in Taiwan. Each year has been quite different, with its own share of surprises, disappointments and small victories. Today, I’m sharing four missionary lessons I’ve learned along the way. 1. Metacultural differences in thinking can go deeper than we expect. Through years of cross-cultural learning and teamwork in Taiwan, I’ve realized I didn’t simply cross from one culture to another but moved into a whole different neighborhood of national and local cultures. It’s a different metacultural context. We generally understand cultural differences by taking the way we would think…

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‘We Don’t Want to be Heroes’: One Couple’s Church Planting Strategy

church planting strategy
What does it take to be a church planter? Find out as one TEAM missionary couple shares their church planting strategy!

“The word that sticks in my mind is walls,” TEAM missionary David North told his wife, Kathy when they scouted out the location of their last church plant. “There are cement walls everywhere, it’s industrial, it’s dirty, it’s gray, but there are also spiritual walls.” When David and Kathy moved to the Filipino city of Mandaue they could feel an overwhelming darkness. But still, they moved. David and Kathy North have been church planters for over 20 years and have successfully planted several churches. They are champions for growing the Kingdom. But it hasn’t always been an easy road. Several times…

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Why Missions Can’t Fix Your Relationship with God

relationship with God
As a missionary, what does it look like to really deepen your relationship with God? Keep reading to discover ways to rest in His grace.

I listened as a seasoned missionary, more educated than myself, shared from his heart. He leaned forward and asked a question I wasn’t expecting: “Mike, what does it really mean to be loved by God?” I fumbled for a moment under the inner pressure to respond with just the right theological answer. Thankfully, I hesitated and replied honestly: “I’m not totally sure. I am still learning that myself.” The missionary leaned back with a sigh of relief and said, “Thank you. I was so afraid you were going to give me a formula.” Since then, I’ve met with many successful…

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When It Comes to Missions, God Can Use Your Baby Steps

Do short-term trips lead to long-term service?
Kiersten knew she was called to missions. But that meant facing her fears in order to get there. Read what God taught her throughout her missionary journey!

Kiersten Hutchinson was the perfect missionary candidate: She’d gone on short-term mission trips for years. She attended the Urbana missions conference, not once but twice. She led her church’s mission board and ran missions conferences. “If anyone asked about me, it was, ‘Oh yeah, she’s well on her way to missions,’” Kiersten says. “You know, no questions.” And that’s what Kiersten thought, too. Until it was actually time for her first two-year assignment. Suddenly, the confident 20-something was gripped with fear that wouldn’t budge. Two years in Zimbabwe was simply too much. And soon, she called her sending agency, TEAM,…

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