When a member of your local church comes to you and says “I think that the Lord is calling me overseas” or “God is calling me to take the Gospel to tribal islanders”, it’s important to know who you’re working with. What sense of calling do they have for the mission? How financially and practically prepared are they to go? Do they possess the language and life skills to be effective in their destination? How actively and energetically are they presently serving the Lord? How enthusiastic is their participation in the local church now? It’s so important to answer as many of these questions as possible before you SEND them. Involve MSC as early as possible – we can help ask the questions that are only asked by those who have done this before.
How can you determine the answers? ASSESS the candidate. Get the church leaders together and have an interview – ask them the tough questions, get real answers. This isn’t a grill session, it’s an opportunity to hear their heart, to join them in celebrating what God is doing, to band together to seek the Lord’s guidance. Pray with them, love them, encourage them… and at the same time, protect them, guide them, shepherd them. Help them to get clarity on “Where?” and “When?” and “How long?”. As you assess, cheerlead and exhort. Make plans. Then pray some more.
If after this initial assessment you will be continuing the process toward sending the worker, this is the time to notify MSC with a brief email or letter introducing the prospective worker and giving contact information. This is not a letter of commendation, but allows us to be a part of the process at early stages.