Peru (MNN) — Missionaries can be extremely vital tools for spreading the Gospel, or they can, like anyone else, be a little lost in the job. But what makes the difference between an effective and ineffective missionary? One ministry says that difference is training.
"Serving the Lord in another culture requires much more than good motives or even a sense of calling. Often the difference in effective and ineffective ministry is directly related to the level of preparation of the missionary," explains Jim Ramsay, vice president for mission ministries at The Mission Society.
The effectiveness to make disciples is hindered by lack of preparation. But Ramsay says preparation can also attest to whether or not a missionary will be well adjusted on the field. "The emotional, social, and even physical health of missionaries is highly dependent on their level of preparation."
The Mission Society has learned how crucial good training is over years of sending. As a result, Ramsay explains, "Our training gives missionaries the tools to understand culture so that they are able to live and to minister in a culture that is different from their own. It is always a joy to see the ‘aha' moments as the trainees reflect on the concepts presented in the light of their own experience."
The training program now provides a wide range of courses and experiences. The Mission Society just wrapped up such a training program in Peru last week.
From July 1-20, 21 missionaries, 17 missionary children and 42 guests who audited the training attended The Mission Society's Orientation Training. Talks and sessions were led on various subjects, including ministry to Muslims, building trust and making disciples, theology of mission, mission shock, spiritual conflict, storying, peer coaching, and cell group ministry.
By the end of Friday, 21 missionaries were ready to be sent out across the globe.
Eight of the missionaries who attended the training will be departing for sensitive fields that cannot be named. Others are headed to do recovery programs and professorships in Ghana, orphanage work in Namibia, clean water and medical help in Africa, and discipleship in Kazakhstan among other things. These teams will be integral parts in spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ to hurting people.
Preparation is over, and it will soon be time for missionaries to put all they have learned into practice. Pray for these 21 new sojourners of the faith to be bold in their proclamation of Christ, to remember all they have learned in training, and to adjust well to the field as they advocate on behalf of the King. Pray that, in every sense, these will be effective missionaries.
To learn more about the work of The Mission Society, visit www.themissionsociety.org.