The relationship between your sending church and the mission agency you choose to go with is very important. It needs to be a real partnership and a committed relationship with responsibilities and expectations on both sides. Your home church has a key role in sending you and is the place to begin - agencies exist to help churches fulfill God’s mandate for world mission, not the other way round. It is also important that you are already active in a local church in the UK if you wish to be considered for overseas mission.
It is perfectly natural for other family members to be concerned about their loved one(s) taking off somewhere they know little or nothing about with a bunch of strangers. But first, you need to establish what is behind their objections.
Raising financial support for world mission can be one of the most positive and faith-building aspects of someone’s ministry. However it is also hard work and, for some, can be daunting and might even put them off considering mission overseas. But it doesn’t need to. Support-raising is about a lot more than money; it's about building a team around you who bring their financial support, prayers and encouragement. They, together with you, will enable someone somewhere to experience God’s love through your ministry. You just need the tools for the job of building the team.
You're certainly not short of choice when it comes to mission agencies, so where do you start?
At a first glance through this website, the choice can seem a bit bewildering. There are so many great options to choose from in world mission, and this is representative of the diversity of needs that exist in today's world!
Most people don’t get a bolt of lightning from the sky, a booming voice from heaven, or see their name flashing in some kind of divine neon light. And if you’re waiting for a ‘burning bush’ experience, like Moses had in Exodus 3, it will never happen! Maybe it will just start with a gut feeling – an ‘inner witness’ in your spirit. Maybe something someone has said in a sermon or just a conversation is what’s motivating you. Perhaps you know someone who is already involved in world mission overseas and it’s provoked an interest.
If this is the first time you have considered serving in world mission long-term overseas, then here are some pointers to get you started:
Most UK-based mission agencies would expect the following from those who express an interest in being involved in world mission: