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Posted March 07, 2014

Preparing cross-cultural missionaries

Initiated by: Mission Whiteboard

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God has given the responsibility of sending to local churches.  How can churches ensure those they send are well prepared?  What are some key resources and processes your church uses to help access and prepare those considering cross-cultural missions?



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4 years ago
Matt Black

Those at the Sending Church Roundtable shared some of the traits they look for in those being sent by their churches.  What would you add to the list?

  • Humility
  • Flexibility
  • Not easily discouraged
  • perseverance
  • teachability
  • healthy body mind and spirit
  • team player
  • cross-cultural expereince
  • lifelong learner
  • relational health
  • financial stability
  • emotional resilience
  • follower of Jesus
  • living a missional lifestyle now
  • robust understanding of the Gospel
  • accountability
  • willingness to be a part of a team
  • resourceful
  • Biblically grounded
  • entrepreneurial spirit
  • vulnerability and willing to see weakness
  • their love of the Lord greater than their love of adventure
  • sober-minded
  • love for teammates and nationals
  • a person of prayer


  • Jeff Walters wrote: Thomas -- I agree with you. Teams benefit from entrepreneurs, but healthy teams include both the "let's go" and the "slow down."
  • Jeff Walters wrote: Maybe it's wrapped up in some of these, but I would add faith -- faith that sustains on hard days, in "unproductive" seasons, and through seeming failure.
  • Thomas Webb wrote: We don't need only those with Entrepreneurial Spirit. God has put into more blvrs a Support personality profile and he wants us to work together. If we only have Entrepreneurs how will we ever build the kingdom beyond initial Proclamation unto salvation?
  • C. Crider wrote: Sense of humor?

4 years ago
Kevin Riley

Good thoughts, Eric.

I would add connecting to internationals here in the US. More than likely there are people from the part of the world where you are interested in serving. Build relationships with individuals and families. It's a great way to broaden your understanding of a people without having to uproot your family in the process. 

  • Stan Goddard wrote: I think that is a great idea! provides practical experience in crossing cultures for the sake of making disciples!

4 years ago
Eric King

These are some thoughts shared with me recently from a returning missionary

What would be some thoughts you would share with those wrestling with a call to go cross culturally? 

-Extrovert type people should be mindful of the challenges of living in the isolating nature of cross cultural ministry. 

What might be unexpected realities that churches could help better prepare those they send out?

-A church should help the candidates vet the potential ministry location and if possible send candidates out to places that would foster the greatest potential for success. 

If you were sitting down with someone wrestling with a call, what would you share with them?

-Your call is important, but there are also real circumstances that present real challenges. If you have multiple children, you should spend some time investigating cost of living, how much freedom you’ll have to make decisions.  Having a calling does not mean that you should forego wisdom about where and with whom you’ll serve. A pre-trip would have been extremely helpful for honing our expectations or helping us to choose a more suitable place of service. I wish we had invested our own resources in order to go

  • C. Crider wrote: I'm with Jason; I don't think we should select our fields of service based on "likelihood of success." As we decide on a people/place to serve, churches should prepare missionaries to thrive in that context.
  • Stan Goddard wrote: Jason, I wonder if what the missionary is saying is that some people are better equipped to serve in urban context while others in rural. looking at the context and the skills of the sent ones help provide the opportunity for success
  • Jason Carlisle wrote: Good launching points, Eric. I would suggest that the suggestion "sending candidates out to places that would foster the greatest potential for success" could probably use some nuancing or at least some context. No doubt you meant it in a context of finding various locations the church had found were strategic and then choosing the one that has "greatest potential for success". I am always thankful for those who chose to go to the tough "impossible" places though other places might have appeared to have "greater potential".

4 years ago
Mark Kordic

Thanks for creating this interactive tool to allow local churches to be directly involved in Jesus' Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20!


4 years ago

1. spend time and go through whatever you can to confirm teh calling of those who want to go, you dont want to send tourists

2. send in one person ahead of time for a period we give it six weeks so that teh mission team going will have someone they are familiar with to confirm issues on teh ground, that person can also be a long term serving mission partner from teh sending culture

3. engage the goers in cross cultural earning, not neccesarily language but that is an added advantage. With that, we identify what are teh entry points to communicate love: e.g if it s a medical project how long will it run and at what point do we feel it is time to engage the culture with teh message of Christ,

4. in teh mission field we advocate that the teams always debrief with the local host or missionary so that all expecations are handled and questions are answered.

5. we advocate for a longterm follow-up pf the missionaries 2 years after they have gone for a mission to ascertain whether it had the right impact in their live s and whether God spoke to them in any way. In theis way you are able to find many long serving missionaries.




4 years ago
Thomas Webb

Do we have discussion/WhiteBoard going around Business As Missions (BAM), or Business4transformation (B4T), or market place missions ? Current or new Teaching/Instruction at Christian collages or within agency organisations. Are there any "Unreached Peoples" focused; Industry Specific Asociations of Kingdom Impact for Profit companies meeting on this Whiteboard service ??   


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