What qualities should Missionaries have?

What qualities should Missionaries have? I am a missionary and a pastor on the Mission Field. These are elements that make a good missionary from my point of view.

Pastoral Candidate Category

If you notice the category that I classified this post under, it is “Pastoral Candidate” or “Pulpit Committee”. The very same thought process that is needed in finding a new Pastor for a local church should be used to decide on a missionary. A pastor of a local church in the United States is not exactly the same ministry as a missionary. Missionaries live by donations from outside the local work where they are ministering in a foreign country.

But a good missionary is somebody that would be a good pastor of a local church back in the United States. We need to understand that point before anything else.

A Good Missionary Candidate

The ultimate issue that you cannot even start this discussion without it, is the candidate needs to really be saved. If you send somebody out of your area of viewing to do something very important for you, but that person is not even saved, undoubtedly he will fail you many times over.

How do you discern that? The point here is that the missionary candidate in his own life needs to have a long history of faithfulness to the Lord, and he needs to live, proving through his own life before missions that he is truly saved. Normally, this focuses on his past in a local church.

We cannot leave the missionary’s wife out of this same requirement. She must have a good history of having worked in a local church. In my estimation, her history should at least include work with children and young people, but must also include a lot of teamwork with the Christian ladies of a church. That is what she is taking on in the ministry.

Note that I have seen many a missionary close up shop and return to the states because their wives were not happy with living in a foreign culture. There is a lot to give up to live in another country, another culture. The problems that pastors and their wives have in the states are just the same on the mission field.

Missionaries have to know how to preach and teach and explain the doctrines of the Bible in English before they really are ready to do so in a foreign language and culture. Again, the missionary wife normally will be teaching the women wherever they are stationed, so she must be capable of teaching well at least.

I have been a single missionary as well as a married missionary. The same element in both setups is that you as a male are a target for women. There are always some women present or visiting your church that will mistake your concern in the ministry for personal concern. Even with having a wife, that happens. It shouldn’t. Frankly, my approach to this is to just express your concern and ministry to these lonely women in your church through your wife. Let that be her ministry. Stay away from personally getting deeply involved in counseling women.

The stresses of a missionary are exceptional. It is a wonder that anybody can do the job at all. There are a lot of missionaries messing up in this job. A lot do it for a while, and then quit because it is always frustrating, taxing, and it takes a lot of self-sacrifice and making due with less to make the ministry work.

What qualities should Missionaries have?

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