As Missions Director for our church, one of my responsibilities is to choose missionaries that our church can consider for support. Listed below are some of the criteria I follow when choosing missionaries to recommend to our pastor. I hope these guidelines will be a help and blessing to you.
- You seek out missionaries; do not consider only those who coming looking for you.
- A church will have more missionaries from which to choose by requesting a list of missionaries on deputation or furlough from mission boards at least one year before a missions conference.
- First, make contact and ask only for an information packet. At this stage, do not promise that the church will consider support. When asking for an information packet, also ask for a DVD presentation if available.
- After receiving a packet, review it carefully. Make notes of information that is important to you and your pastor. After reviewing the information packet, if there is a DVD, watch it to make sure there are no surprises in the event that the DVD is shown to the church.
- Once you decide to recommend that a particular missionary be considered for support, give your pastor a memo with the missionary’s information asking if he would like to consider that missionary for support.
- Once your pastor approves your recommendation, contact the missionary to see if he has the dates clear to attend your Missions Conference. I start looking for missionary candidates a year in advance so the chances of their being available during our conference are higher. Missionaries on deputation and furlough are constantly trying to fill their calendars, and it is best if you can ask them when their calendars are not yet full. Don’t be guilty of missing an excellent missionary because you waited too long to schedule him for your meeting.
Missionaries are some of God’s choicest servants. It is a command of God to reach the world with the Gospel, and for many churches, supporting good missionaries is the main avenue available for them to fulfill this command. It is vital that you have wisdom and God’s mind as you choose the right missionaries to represent your ministry and your Savior on the foreign field. May God bless you as you do your part for world evangelism.