How does missions work?
There are several components to the missions enterprise – sending agency, missionary, partners, target group. Each of these plays a role in accomplishing the mission of God – which is that “none should perish, but all come to repentance.”
The sending agency, in our case Assemblies of God World Missions, provides a covering for missionaries to work in various nations and cultures of the world. The sending agency helps with budget development, visa applications, country-specific needs, transportation, and so on. Usually, the sending agency has some level of authority over the missionaries who are sent out from it.
Missions is not about a one-man show; missions is about completing the work of God and that takes all of us.
Missionaries are people who believe God has called them to leave their homeland and go to a foreign land, culture or ethnic group. Missionaries use their gifts, talents, and skills to help the development of the national church with whom they work. Missionaries tend to be in teaching/training roles in order to promote the national churchʼs efforts. So, some missionaries teach in Bible schools, some help with evangelistic efforts the national church is engaged in, some work in compassion ministries (HIV/AIDS, medical clinics, water wells, etc.). All missionaries intend to leave the national church stronger than when they arrived.
Partners are vital to accomplishing the mission of God around the world. Who are these people? They are the folks that hear a missionary speak and begin to invest their resources to empower the missionary to be their representative in a place and culture the partners may never visit. They are “regular” church people, pastors, businessmen/ women, educators, medical specialists, carpenters, etc. But, without partners the missionary cannot get the job done. Missions is not about a one-man show; missions is about completing the work of God and that takes all of us.