Organisations and role - how do I decide? | Christian Vocations

Organisations and role - how do I decide?

Remember that no job or mission agency is perfect! The important thing is to think through and find an agency who will work alongside your church to provide the support and encouragement you need.

If you're looking for a specific job opportunity - or just looking to get some ideas of possibilities - there are some suggestions here for how you might go about that.

You're certainly not short of choice!  So where do you start?

  • Most importantly, your home church has a key role in sending you and is the place to begin. Mission agencies and organisations exist to help churches fulfill God’s mandate for world mission - not the other way round.
  • Think about how this organisation might work alongside your church and maintain links once you’re abroad.  Talk with your church leaders and use their wisdom to help you in the decision-making process - they need to partner with the organisation in sending you. 
  • Once you have some idea either of the type of work you could do, an area of the world to work in, or a people group you would like to work amongst, you can begin to narrow the field considerably. Look at those organisations that are of most relevance, read some introductory information, and pray about your choice.
  • On the other hand, it is good to consider where there is most need. Think and pray about your involvement with organisations working in areas and places where people are most unreached. Be prepared to be challenged or re-directed. Perhaps there is more need for you in places or projects which you haven’t yet considered.
  • Look for a ‘fit’ with the organisation you are thinking you might go with. Do you and your church share their vision and values? Check out their mission statement. If possible, go along to one of their events in the UK to meet some of the team and learn more.
  • Examine their theological or doctrinal statement – and their outworking of that. What is important to them and does it tie in with what’s important to you? (e.g. if you’re charismatic, is it charismatic? If you’re reformed, is it reformed?) 
  • Can you be sure that you (and your family and dependents) will be looked after whilst you are serving with this agency? Ask about the level of pastoral care they provide both in the UK and overseas. Do they have good support systems in place? What about if you run into difficulties? And are they also willing to help on your return to the UK?
  • Talk with them about your sense of how God is guiding you – is it to a people, a place or a cause? or something else? To what extent are they willing to explore this with you?
  • Ask about the selection process and what happens if you are selected and choose to go with them – do you understand and are you comfortable with the process?  What orientation, training and debriefing do they provide?
  • Ask about the financial arrangements – what systems are in place and how much money do you need to raise (if you do)? What help will they offer with this?
  • If possible speak to a missionary or someone who already works for the organisation you're thinking of joining and in the area you're considering.
  • Remember too that the organisation needs to consider how well you will fit into one of their teams – they also need to select you!  It's a two-way process.

For more detailed responses to this issue, see the following:

Follow this link if you would like further information about the whole business of 'calling' and guidance.

At a first glance through the opportunities listed on our website, the choice can seem a bit overwhelming. There are so many great options to choose from in world mission, and this is representative of the diversity of needs that exist in today's world!

But there are a number of ways you can narrow down your search based on any or all of the following:

  • Search by activity - are you looking for roles in admin, finance, HR, practical and maintenance...? We have 22 different categories to choose from.
  • Maybe location is more important to you? You can search by region or search by country. The choices range from Bangladesh to Bolivia, Czech Republic to Cote D’Ivoire! (Although if it's just a great location you're looking for, you might be better to try your local travel agency than your local mission agency!) But it might be worth picking out three or four countries (or regions) that perhaps you, or your church, already have some kind of connection with and start there. But do also think and pray about your involvement in those areas and places where people are most unreached. Be prepared to be challenged or re-directed. Perhaps there is more need for you in places or projects which you haven’t yet considered.
  • Or perhaps you are looking for what a particular organisation that you or your church already have links with, has to offer?

Once you've started to narrow down the options:

  • Read the stories of those who have done this before you, browse the organisation websites, send an email, make a phone call, and ask lots of questions - doing this will help you get a feel for what might be possible. Investigate it thoroughly.
  • Think about how you are already serving in your local church - when you apply to a mission agency, they will ask what involvement you’ve had locally.This is important, because it’s difficult to see why you should want to serve God and share your faith in some overseas location if you haven’t first been doing it at home.
  • Be aware that it might not be possible for a mission agency to provide you with an exact job description and job roles may change along your recruitment journey. The nature of cross-cultural mission can often be a fluid one – a long term flexible perspective is necessary.
  • And try to let go of the idea that there is one thing that’s ‘just right for you’ - there probably isn’t! 

Most importantly, pray and talk with your church leaders and those who know you well right from the start, and search for an opportunity with the attitude that it’s a chance for you to serve God and his church throughout the world, rather than focussing solely on what you initially think is best for yourself – you might be amazed at how God could use you. 

Follow this link if you would like further information about the whole business of 'calling' and guidance.

FAQs

Where do I start and how can I know God wants me to get involved?
Raising financial support, involving your church, dealing with family concerns and more.