Acts 1:8: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
Jesus commands all followers to be worldwide witnesses. Yet, while all are commanded to be worldwide witnesses, some are called as vocational missionaries to minister interculturally. For those called to be a missionary, the journey often appears to be extensive, expensive and seemingly insurmountable. Here are a few things to consider when asking how to become a vocational missionary.
The importance of a local church
Matthew 16:18 “… I will build My church …”
Jesus promised to build His Church. Thus, a person called to vocational missions must see that charge confirmed and fulfilled through a local church. The church in Antioch functioned as a sending church: “Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away” (Acts 13:3). This is also the working of the Holy Spirit through a local church, as Acts 13:4 says: “So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit.”
The importance of training
Once set apart by the Holy Spirit and confirmed by a local church, a missionary must also be equipped.
Many local churches require a vocational missionary to prepare by means of rigorous training in obtaining a bachelor’s degree and often delegate such training to a Bible college. Carolina College of Biblical Studies is called to come alongside the local church to be of help.
Courses that serve the missionary well include:
1. History and Philosophy of Missions This course is designed to develop insight regarding the strengths and weaknesses of missions throughout history with an analysis of missions movement from apostolic times to the present.
2. Contemporary Issues in Missions This course is a study of the major issues, trends and problems related to modern missions. It will include an analysis of mission agencies and the local church, moral integrity, short term missions, church planting, teamwork and the role of prayer in missionary outreach.
3. Cross-Cultural Adaptation This course introduces the challenges of living and working in a culturally foreign environment. It exposes the processes of culture shock, cultural adaptation and re-entry stress.
4. Missionary Life This course is a practical study of missionary life and ministry. It surveys the procedures involved in becoming a missionary candidate and the various stages all the way through reaching the selected field of service.
5. Missions Practicum A mission’s practicum covers practical concerns with missions service under the direction of supervisors and the program adviser. Ministries in and through the local church and/or mission agency will provide entry-level experience for the missions trainee.
We’re here to help
Carolina College of Biblical Studies offers training for missionaries by means of a minor in intercultural studies. The minor is designed to provide practical experience for those expecting to participate in some aspect of world evangelization in cross-cultural situations as a missionary.
By the end of the minor, students will be able to:
• Create a personal philosophy of missions to guide leadership capabilities.
• Explain the purpose of missions and demonstrate an understanding of the history of the modern missionary movement.
• Identify elements of the support structure for missions, including the roles of churches, individuals, mission agencies and other para-church organizations.
• Evaluate and create various types of written and oral communication for both intercultural and cross-cultural settings.