- BFF Home
- About Us
- Life Truths
- RSS Feed
Following up Agency Connections is part of the Take Your Next Step into Ministry series that suggests various questions to evaluate one's relationship with mission and denominational organizations for an effective ministry.
Make the proper contacts with a mission or denominational agency and raise the needed prayer, financial and other support.
If one is planning to go into full-time ministry, whether it is on some faraway mission field or near pastorate, there are certain steps to take. If the process is not well understood, and often it is not, then delays often arise.
Fortunately, mission agencies do well in helping their potential candidates understand this process. Unfortunately, candidates most often do not speak specifically enough or start early enough in the process.
While the process is obvious to some, others, usually due to a poor church background, have no clue to the process. This is the way it was with me when God called me during my freshman year at the University of Maine. God could and did lead me, but it would have been so much easier if someone gave me an overview of the process. Let’s try to do that here.
A call to full-time ministry God gives you an inward sense of call to serve Him. (This of course could be earlier or later on in life). Although it comes about in various ways, it always leaves a sense of burden or drive to guide the person in the direction of ministry.
Others will see how God is using you and will encourage you to serve more.
Church leaders will give you increased responsibilities in the church.
You will respond to these matters by continually growing closer to the Lord and taking opportunities to serve.
Often (unfortunately) the church will suggest you study at some school for full-time ministry. Ideally they should first train you as much as they can in the local church.
Usually formal seminary or Bible school training is required but other less expensive training programs are possible with proper oversight and deployment.
Link up with the right mission or ministry organization. Like choosing a spouse, choose carefully.
Serve time in ministry or as an intern with those who can observe and help you grow in your personal life and ministry.
Raise support for full-time or specialized ministry. Pay off loans. Confirm home church. Strengthen church relationships. Possible ordination.
Discover the designated place to serve with a special ministry in mind.
Here are some more specific questions you can ask yourself to help you better prepare.
Have you talked to your church/pastor/mission director about your desire to minister?
Has the church set time aside to discuss this ‘call’ with you? What do they think?
Has the church asked you to be responsible for any ministry?
Have you faithfully carried it out? Do they think so?
Has the church discussed further training at all?
Which loans or financial obligations do you have?
Have you developed a concrete plan to pay these loans off before ministry?
If so, evaluate how you have been doing. How can you do better?
If not, develop a plan with needed guidelines to help you minimize this time of waiting.
What potential missionary organizations/training institutes have you contacted?
What is it that you liked or disliked about the different organizations?
What were their specific suggestions? Have you carried any of them out?
Have you followed up with any organization?
What concerns do you have about this organization? Have you expressed them to them?
Have you talked to those who are part of this organization? What advantages and disadvantages do they speak of regarding that organization?
What kind of training does the mission organization require?
What kind of training does your anticipated area of service require?
Have you looked into seminaries or other kinds of training?
What do you want to gain from formal training?
Have you examined the classes and class descriptions that you could actually take and see if you could take the needed courses?
Have you spoken to other students about getting specific training in this area?
We recommend that you spend a good bit of time thinking about what you want from a training program. Just a few days ago I talked to another person who said that though they attended a seminary focusing on missions, they never learned to disciple.
Much time and money is spent in this area of life. The goals of the institution are rarely the goals that you personally have. Remember to enhance any formal training with God’s training which always requires shaping of one’s character, knowledge of God through his Word and providing skills and other knowledge.
 In the Western world, if one serves outside his local church, it is almost impossible to proceed without expensive and formal specialized training. On the other hand, world missions requires better, more flexible and far less expensive training programs.
 We suggest that ordination should follow a testing of ministry rather than precede it.