Here are some practical steps to become a volunteer missionary with M+Power
If the world is to be won for Jesus, His Church must mobilize more workers into mission. Those who are already engaged in the ministry and mission of their local churches are the ones most likely to sense the call of God to move into a wider ministry, offering substantially more time, and possibly in a different cultural context. As the desire to serve increases, faith in God and His provision for your life may cause you to look for opportunities to volunteer for missionary service with the Church of the Nazarene through Global Mission.
If you’re interested in becoming a cross-cultural volunteer with M+Power, feel free to contact the M+Power team after reading through the webpages. We are eager to help you further with some of the practical questions you might have and provide more information.
Share your longing to serve in another culture with your pastor and with those friends who will pray with you and for you. Learning to listen to God through prayer will help you to discern the specifics of God’s call for your life. Your Heavenly Father loves to guide those who seek Him through listening.
3. APPLICATION FORM
If you sense God is calling you to become a volunteer, we want to work with you in exploring and fulfilling that call. Fill in the application form and our Task Force Representative for your field will start to communicate with you. The application also includes a request for references from your church leaders, like your local church pastor and your District Superintendent. We want to make sure that both your local church and your District support you in your desire to serve abroad. M+Power will also ask you to offer contact details for three other references who can describe your personality, your skills and your ability to work effectively in a team. We will check those references to make sure you become the right volunteer in the right place.
4. EURASIA MISSION ORIENTATION (EMO)
Eurasia Mission Orientation (EMO) is a 3 day learning experience for potential mission volunteers and others interested in cross-cultural ministry. Using information sessions, practical exercises and sharing of experiences, participants will explore together the challenges of leaving home to engage in mission in another cultural setting. An EMO will consist of Bible study, prayer, and an overview of Nazarene missions, with teaching on what it means to work cross culturally. There will also be personal interviews and exercises to see how participants might cope in unfamiliar situations.
Participation in an EMO is the preferred route into volunteer ministry with M+Power. Participants will be in a setting where they can learn more about their call, and the M+Power team will have the opportunity to get to know each candidate and offer advice on how they can further prepare for an assignment. Before attending an Orientation, each participant should read the book Cross Cultural Servanthood by Duane Elmer.
There are plans to host an Orientation each year for each field on the Region. Find out when the Eurasia Mission Orientation in your field will be held.
At the end of the EMO, participants will be asked where they see themselves in the process. They will then receive one of three recommendations of how they might serve best:
a. Approved as Ready for Assignment: In this scenario the candidate will be matched for best fit according to skills and preferences with a specific placement, and they will receive a pre-deployment interview with the host DS and pastor/project leader. Each appointee will be assigned a M+Power Mentor (see #10 below), and will receive a written confirmation. The confirmation will be copied to the pastor and the DS of the sending church, the pastor/project leader, and the DS and the local pastor in the host country.
b. Approved but Deferred: In this case the candidate will be given a deferred appointment pending completion of current training or other preparation advised by the M+Power team. A deferral may also be because the most suitable assignment is not yet available. Clear communication about the reasons for deferring will be sent to the candidate and home pastor.
c. Recommended for Local Assignment: In this case the candidate is assessed as currently more suited to serving in their home church or district. This may be because they need ministry experience, have challenging personal circumstances, or because the M-Power team has discerned a need for further personal or skills development. Clear communication will be sent to the candidate and home pastor on the reasons for no current offer being made with M+Power.
6. LOCAL CHURCH
If you have received an “Approved as Ready” status you should share the news with your pastor, local church, and (district) NMI president. On the website there is a section of how the local church and the local NMI can be involved in the sending process. This is not just about you, but about mobilizing the whole church for mission!
Depending on your departure date, you can prepare yourself in several ways:
a. Find information about the host culture on the internet, read some books, and get in touch with people who have already been there.
b. Make sure you have good health insurance, and travel insurance. Send a copy of your health insurance to the Eurasia Regional Office of the Church of the Nazarene.
c. Get all necessary travel vaccinations. These will be determined both by the place you are to serve, and the country from which you come.
For British guidance please see: www.nhs.uk/conditions/Travel-immunisation/Pages/Introduction.aspx
d. Try to prepare yourself by beginning some language study.
e. You will now communicate directly with the people of the host country, so that both you and they agree on when you will be coming, and for how long.
f. If necessary, obtain a valid visa.
g. Let your sending church and district know about your departure date, so that they can organize a formal sending moment during the service. Make sure that the people from the host culture know about the time and place of your arrival.
i. Please copy in your coach on every communication with the host leader and district.
j. When you travel to your mission assignment you are expected to have booked a return ticket. For assignments longer than one year, funds should remain with the Regional Office to cover your return ticket.
Every volunteer missionary will need to pray and think through how they will raise their own finances. M+Power seeks to keep costs low often by helping volunteers find free or economic accommodation. The funds you need to raise on top of travel costs are listed with each placement on the web-site. Your M+Power Field Representative will help you with ideas on raising funds through special events and personal sponsorship. If your assignment is for less than 6 months you will need to raise your travel and living costs before you travel. If your assignment is longer it will be permissible to take pledges from sponsors for the anticipated placement costs beyond 6 months. All funds will be processed through the Eurasia Region to the ministry location, unless approved differently.
A candidate receiving approval as ‘ready for assignment’ is thus recognized as an M+Power volunteer and may partner with their home church and district to raise the funds they require. Also approach family and friends outside of the church you’re attending.
The church treasurer will help you to reclaim tax on any donations you receive (if possible). Your local church and your friends will be really interested in supporting you as you go. This is their way of engaging personally in a real mission project – YOU! Having some special activities helps: a concert, a film evening, or other creative and fun things. Try to involve your local NMI in this. Be sure to raise or find pledges for all your needs as soon as you can, because once there is no money left on your Eurasia Region account, you will have to return home.
Finally the day of your arrival has come! Someone from the host culture will pick you up from the airport or railway station. Hopefully it will be possible to stay with a local family for one or two weeks, so that you will be immersed in the host culture. You will be introduced to a coach. The coach will help you with your new assignment, and what will be expected of you. The coach will also help you to get to know the host culture. You will be expected to attend a local Church of the Nazarene in the host culture.
Besides a coach, you will also get a mentor. The mentor will be a leader in the church from the region, who has personally gone through the process of culture shock. The mentor is willing to invest in you, and help you to reflect on some of the changes you will be going through. Going to another culture is exciting, but it’s not always easy. We would like to help you to make this a very positive experience, both with regards to your spiritual growth, and also your general well being.
As a volunteer you will be expected to have monthly conversations with your mentor during the first six months.