Church Engagement Part Two

September 11, 2023 David M

One of the scariest moments in a church leader’s life is when someone in the congregation says to him, “I think God is calling me to be a missionary. Will you help me?” Paradoxically, it should also be a celebrated highlight in your local church missions history. This is a key purpose of the church: to raise up and send missionaries to proclaim the Gospel and see churches planted among all the peoples of the earth.

Then the alarming weight of responsibility sinks in. “Oh, no! How do we do this?”

Never fear. MissioSERVE with Propempo is here.

Mentoring a missionary candidate is one of the church’s most important personal discipleship ministries. It’s critical! It’s neglected! It’s assumed that “somebody else or some other institution will do it.” Think about it: The local church is designed by the Lord to equip the saints for the work of ministry, which includes missionary ministry. We don’t shudder when raising up Elders or Sunday School teachers or even helping a young pastor wannabe. The local church’s biblical role includes sending and shepherding their own people as missionaries. So, it should be a normal part of a healthy church’s life. There is no reason to panic.

We have lots of other articles and podcast episodes to help. Let’s get the overview here:

Who should mentor a missionary candidate? 

To start, it should be a spiritually mature person matching the gender of the candidate/s, a male for a male, a female for a female, and a married couple for a married couple. The mentor should be willing to be the primary accountability and prayer partner for the candidate through the process of pre-field training and preparation. For most candidates, it will be a multi-year process.

What are the responsibilities of a mentor?

The mentor does NOT have to be an expert or experienced in all the areas of preparation. However, the mentor should be committed to becoming familiar with the process, the requirements, and the curriculum for the candidate to become fully qualified. The mentor would meet regularly as needed to encourage the candidate, pray, and ask evaluative questions about what the candidate is learning and how it is changing their life, vision, skills, character, and perspective for their future ministry. The mentor would normally be an objective communicator with church and missions leaders about the progress and pace of preparation for their mentee. The mentor must be willing to address their mentee in all areas of character (being), conviction (knowing), and competence (doing). They must track the candidate in elements of formal and informal training, gaining ministry experience, and challenging their mentee to personal holiness and integrity in every area of their life.

What is the objective of the missionary candidate mentor?

The goal is to prepare the candidate to be fitted and well-qualified for missionary life and service for the specific projected field ministry. In most cases the candidate needs to grow to become Elder or Deacon qualified, per 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. The missionary is an extension of the local church, an ambassador appointed and commissioned to serve the Lord on behalf of their sending church.

What are the consequences of this mentorship process?

  • The mentor and candidate will form a bond of trust and transparency which will become the platform for ongoing shepherding even on the field.
  • The candidate, so trained and qualified for missionary ministry, will be ready to face the rigors of missionary life and work for the long haul. No preventable early quitting!
  • The church will benefit from the huge sense of ownership of its responsibilities to and through its own missionary.

How can we learn more about this?

Read other articles in this series: Church Engagement
Serving the Sent: Create the Fun!
Serving the Sent: Create the Fun!
Mar 29, 2024 2 min · Brian W We have explored making fun things for the missionary when they come for a visit, but I wanted to expand on that point a bit here. First, burden-sharing churches should aim for some variety in their interactions… Read More
It's Not a Bug, It's a Feature
It's Not a Bug, It's a Feature
Mar 11, 2024 3 min · Joel H Have you ever heard that line before? It’s usually used when someone can’t fix a problem and they repackage their product trying to make something that was originally undesirable into a selling point.… Read More
Missionary Fellowship
Missionary Fellowship
Mar 01, 2024 2 min · Brian W "For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due… Read More
Serving the Sent - Sharing the Burden
Serving the Sent - Sharing the Burden
Feb 16, 2024 2 min · Brian W "For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due… Read More


David M
David C. Meade has been the founder, C-level officer, and consultant for a number of non-profit organizations. He has nearly fifty years of experience with church planting, pioneering field ministry among UPGs, and leadership in international and domestic NGOs. He has a strong biblical local-church-centric ministry philosophy and commitments, serving as an international outreach leader, pastor, and elder in local churches throughout his adult life. He loves teaching and mentoring church leaders and global workers preparing for service to meet the greatest need of the neediest places on earth.

David is an international business consultant, NGO executive, and international leadership trainer. He has a weekly podcast and has authored hundreds of insightful and practical blogs, articles, and several books. David is a well-received speaker and teacher. His experience in non-profit leadership and international NGOs informs his counsel for leaders and workers in challenging areas of service, analyzing corporate strategies, conflict resolution, crisis management, and event leadership. David is passionate about core values based on timeless principles, valuing people, and leadership training. He is an avid family man, reader, fisherman, and world traveler.