As you explore missionary service, here are some important questions to ask yourself:

Am I ready to accept God’s calling to serve others?

Being actively engaged in a church or with a body of believers for the purpose of fellowship, worship, biblical teaching, and service to others is vital in helping you hear and follow God’s calling.

Your relationship with Christ begins when you recognize your separation from God as a result of your sin, repent and trust in Jesus for forgiveness, and receive Him into your heart and life through faith. Your journey continues as part of the body of Christ. As you learn and live out God’s Word and participate in your local church, you grow in faith and spiritual maturity while being prepared for works of service.

Scripture to explore:

  • Acts 13:1–3
  • Romans 1–3
  • 1 Corinthians 1–2
  • Ephesians 4–5:21
  • 1 Timothy 3:15b
  • Hebrews 10:24–25
  • 1 Peter 4:10

TWR expects that our missionary candidates…

  • … believe in Christ as Savior and are actively pursuing a relationship with Him within His body.
  • … believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, completely trustworthy and speaking with supreme authority in all matters of belief and practice.
  • … agree with TWR’s Statement of Faith

Am I flexible in working with others in the body of Christ?

Serving in ministry involves building and maintaining meaningful relationships with people of various doctrinal, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. This is both important and necessary when working closely with others to further God’s work.

Look for ways to develop flexibility and adaptability in your life by loving and serving others. This may involve giving up something you might otherwise feel entitled to and finding contentment in Christ despite the circumstances. It might also mean exploring other cultures in/near your current community—their food, activities, etc. Developing a curiosity about and love for other cultures helps you to see people as God sees them.

Scripture to explore:

  • Matthew 23:11–12
  • 1 Corinthians 9:22
  • Philippians 2:1–4
  • Philippians 4:11–12

TWR expects that our missionary candidates…

  • … are growing as a people and as children of God, using past experiences and mistakes as a springboard for living and working with others more effectively.
  • … are known by church leaders who affirm their potential for cross-cultural mission service.
  • … have some experience that allows them to assess their gifts and ministry role options, such as participating in an overseas mission trip, teaching Sunday school, volunteering in their local church, relating to people with different cultural backgrounds, or serving the homeless or disadvantaged.

Can others see Christ at work in my life?

Applying biblical principles to life, so that actions and attitudes reflect the teachings of the Bible, is critical to effective ministry.

When you believe in Jesus and become a child of God, the Holy Spirit immediately comes into your life, giving you the power to trust the Lord to help you abide in Him, love others and bear fruit. Look for evidence that you are making a priority of knowing Christ and trusting Him to reveal Himself to others through your words and actions.

Scripture to explore:

  • John 14–15
  • Romans 12, Galatians 5:1
  • Ephesians 4:17–5:21
  • 1 Peter 3:15–16

TWR expects that our missionary candidates…

  • … are growing in their trust and love for Christ through prayer, Bible study and worship.
  • … are reflecting biblical principles, honoring Christ and building up His body of believers.
  • … if married, are faithful to his/her spouse and maintaining a healthy, growing relationship.
  • … if single, are practicing abstinence from sexual activity.
  • … have demonstrated a commitment to sexual purity for at least one year prior to application.
  • …if they have been indicted for or convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, it has been at least three years since its resolution, and that during this time they have been living a moral, lawful, and ethical lifestyle. (Past convictions may affect eligibility for certain assignments.)

Do I have healthy, growing family relationships?

Missionary life often stretches your relationships with parents, spouse, children, and other family members. Having sound family relationships is a good indicator that you’ll be successful in building other relationships.

When considering cross-cultural mission service, it is important to evaluate the health and vitality of your relationships with family members and others close to you. God can use these relationships to help you grow in trust, respect, sacrifice, humility, and forgiveness. Look for relational beliefs and behaviors that will help you stand strong during spiritual warfare.

Scripture to explore:

  • Matthew 19
  • Galatians 5–6
  • Ephesians 4–6
  • 1 John 4:20–21

TWR expects that our missionary candidates…

  • … if unmarried, have thought through the implications of serving as singles.
  • … if married, are communicating well as couples and/or families and agree about the direction that God is leading.
  • … if there is a divorce in their past(s), are willing to discuss those circumstances openly with a TWR mobilizer. (Divorce does not necessarily preclude service with TWR.)

Am I ready to trust God to provide for me financially?

TWR missionaries depend on the Lord to provide for their needs through the partnership of individuals and churches who pray and give financially to TWR in support of their ministries.

Depending on God to provide for your financial needs through the partnership of His people can seem overwhelming—even scary—but it’s an opportunity to see God work in ways that will grow your faith. TWR trains and coaches new missionaries as they build and maintain a team of prayer and financial partners.

Scripture to explore:

  • 1 Corinthians 9:7–18
  • Philippians 4:10–16
  • 3 John 5–6

TWR expects that our missionaries…

  • … are willing to trust the organization to set an appropriate living allowance for their locations of service.
  • … are willing to invite their church body and believing friends and family to join their ministry through prayer, encouragement, and gifts to TWR.
  • … are willing to maintain this team of ministry partners throughout their time of service with TWR.

Am I living within my means?

To begin the application process, you’ll need to have a plan for paying off student loans and eliminating unsecured debt. To move to the candidacy phase, all unsecured debt (with the exception of car notes and mortgages) must be paid off. Student loan debt can be included as part of a missionary’s personal living allowance, if needed.

Living within your current income requires self-discipline, wisdom, and planning. As a result, you’ll be able to follow God whenever and wherever He leads you. Look for evidence that you are growing in your contentment, whether you have much or little.

Scripture to explore:

  • Matthew 18:23–33
  • Romans 13
  • Philippians 4:11–13
  • 1 Timothy 6:6–8

TWR expects our missionary candidates to…

  • … have an appropriate, Scripture-based view of debt.
  • … have paid off any unsecured debt, prior to Candidate Orientation (This includes credit cards, lines of credit, personal loans, medical bills, etc.)
  • … do everything in their power to pay off as much student debt as possible prior to departure for their assignment.

Am I living, and committed to continue in living, a lifestyle that is set apart in service to God?

TWR missionary candidates must be free of destructive habitual behaviors such as drug and alcohol abuse or misuse, or any use of pornography.

We want you to have the greatest possible opportunity for success in mission service, which is the reason for our policy on destructive habitual behaviors. Individuals who struggle with such behaviors now will often struggle even more once they’re away from the familiar environment of home, church, and friends.

A destructive habitual behavior becomes an idol that controls, consumes, and destroys—just the opposite of our calling to serve God with our heart, soul, and mind. In what ways are you living in the power of the Spirit, avoiding practices that harm your body, your social interactions, your own faith, or another person’s faith?

Scripture to explore:

  • Matthew 22:37
  • Romans 6:12–14
  • Romans 10:6–17
  • Galatians 5:13–26
  • 1 Thessalonians 1:9–10

TWR expects freedom from the following behaviors for at least one year prior to missionary application:

  • … use of illegal drugs or abuse/misuse of prescription drugs
  • … intoxication or inappropriate use of alcohol
  • … lustful or illicit sexual behavior, including the use of any type of pornography

Have I shared my desire to serve in missions with my church?

TWR’s purpose is the assist the Church to fulfill the command of Jesus Christ to make disciples of all people. We believe strongly that the individuals God is calling to serve full-time in missions should be sent by their home church. We view this as a partnership between the church and the ministry to fulfill the Great Commission. Serving in full-time ministry is never easy. Your church’s backing is crucial to your ability to raise support and serve with resilience: spiritually, emotionally, practically and financially. It is imperative to elicit feedback from your pastor and other church leadership at the earliest stages of the process of exploring missionary service.

Scripture to Explore:

  • Hebrews 10:25
  • Luke 10:2
  • John 20:21

TWR expects that our missionary candidates…

  • … have shared their sense of calling into missions with their pastor/elder/small group leader/missions committee, etc.
  • … have sought the counsel of their pastor/elder(s)/small group leader/missions committee, etc. before beginning the application process.
  • … are communicating clearly with their home church as they explore opportunities to serve in missions and go through the stages of application, candidacy, appointment and missionary service.