“Below is a list of some frequently asked questions and their answers. If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact us directly using the general enquiries form.”
Q. I’m not really sure I am called to mission service. How would I know?
A. As followers of Jesus, everyone is called to mission service. What that looks like at an individual level is where the differences lie. For some people a call will be a growing impression over some years, for others God will speak clearly through Scripture, through prayer times, through the stories and sharing of other voices. Listen to what others are saying to you about your abilities and where they see you serving. Talk with trusted friends and family who know you, connect with your pastor or small group leader.
Q. What’s the point of short term service?
A. Short term service can be a very beneficial experience. However it’s important to be clear on why you would want to do this. It is not a ‘holiday’. Short term is also a very good option for people who are contemplating long term service but want to experience the field in a ‘bite-sized’ way first. Short term experiences also help people to broaden their understanding of God’s work in the world, to expose people to cross-cultural and intercultural understanding and ‘get their feet wet’. For many people, long term overseas service is simply not an option and in fact their mission service is focused on the home environment. For others, their skill sets and available time may well allow space to offer a specific service for a specific task overseas. For example, long-termers may need extra assistance for a defined project or to cover home assignment times for those on leave. Short term service is often not about what you can give simply because in a short timeframe your contribution will be limited given the amount of time it takes to learn about the environment you’re in and especially where language is a barrier. It is often more about the experience and the learning you do.
Q. How necessary is Bible college training before going overseas?
A. Each agency will have their own requirements about Bible/Theology training for long term service, however most recommend some level of study either prior to departure, while on the field or during a first home assignment time. The amount and level of training will also be reflective of the role that each individual has on the field. For example, a pastoral, church planting or theological education role clearly needs a good level of such training prior to departure. However a school teacher or engineer may not have the same requirement. Whatever the role it is still recommended that cross cultural training and orientation is undertaken.
Q. How easy is it to take children overseas? What do we do about schooling?
A. Whether short, medium or long term, overseas service as a family can be a very rich and rewarding experience and children are as much a part of the calling as their parents. For many children these months or years away will be defining as they develop their own intercultural learning, worldview and understanding of what God is doing in the world. Each family will need to make decisions as to what is best for the family and agencies can assist with working this through. Dependent on the field, there are a number of schooling options for children ranging from home schooling, international schools, local schools to boarding schools.
Q. How long is any application process?
A. This will differ due to personal situations, agency requirements, field opportunities and financial support raising timeframes. However an average rule of thumb is for short term (2-12 months): 3-12 months and for longer term: 12-18 months.
Q. Our church is keen to do a team trip next year but we are new to this? Where do we start?
A. Check out short term team trips for more information on this.
Q. Do you have a template for a church mission policy?