Once the key leaders of a local church have made the decision to proceed with developing a Missionary Nurture Team and have assigned a pastoral-staff representative to oversee the process of creating the team, these three steps should be taken.
First, after much prayer and thought, the team builder should select potential team members that would likely display the proper motivation for being on the team, that possess certain character qualities, and whose gifts and abilities would be easily validated by others who know them.**
Second, the team builder should take the following steps:
APPROACH, EXPLAIN, ASK
–Approach the potential team member and provide a very clear description of what a Missionary Nurture Team is.
–Explain to them that they have been approached because their lives have demonstrated some of the important life-qualities that are essential for nurturing missionaries.
–Ask them to pray, think, and seek the prayer of others for a specific period of time prior to making their decision.
Third, if after they have prayed, thought, and sought prayer from others, the person that has been invited to join the team responds positively, the three areas mentioned above should be revisited:
WHAT’S THEIR MOTIVATION?
It’s crucial to discern the person’s motivation for accepting the offer to become a part of this important ministry. With that truth in mind, if they have responded positively, it’s important to ask them to explain their reasons for doing so.
–Do they communicate in their own way that they believe they are responding to a clear call from God for them to do this?
–Do they express humility by acknowledging that even though there are probably people better qualified, they trust God is calling them and that they are eager to learn how to provide missionary nurture in order to be as much of a blessing as possible?
–Do they appear to be joyful, even though they may also be a bit overwhelmed at the idea of contributing to God’s global purposes by nurturing those He has called to go?
ARE THERE MOTIVATIONS THAT MIGHT MEAN THEY’RE NOT A GOOD FIT?
The presence of one or more of the following are a good indicator that the person might be not be a good fit for this specific ministry and that they should seek to serve in the church in some other capacity, if they are not currently doing so.
–They display a need to be needed, and to be in a parent-type role in order to have their own needs met vicariously through the nurturing process.
–An unnatural curiosity that delights in possessing intimate knowledge about another person and displays a lack of respect for personal boundaries.
–A desire to have control over other people that is the result of being in a position of influence in their lives.
–An unhealthy longing to help others as a way of avoiding their own problems.
WHAT ARE THEIR CHARACTER QUALITIES?
In addition to motivation, they are certain character qualities that should be present and visible in their lives. If those they lead, serve alongside, or serve under, were asked to describe them, would they say they are:
–Spiritually mature: Emotionally healthy and stable, possess integrity, bible-truth saturated, life-long learner, respected and trusted by other mature believers.
–Personality traits: They exude warmth, gentleness, empathy, genuineness.
–Relational traits: They are good listeners, demonstrate a genuine interest in people, take joy in seeing others grow, possess an appropriate level of desire to help others to grow, are already sought out by others for emotional, practical, or spiritual guidance.
WHAT GIFTS HAVE BEEN VALIDATED?
If a person who knows them–an impartial observer, was informed about this person being invited to become a part of a Missionary Nurture Team, would they confirm that the gifts and abilities they have already observed in this person appear to make them a good fit for this type of ministry?
Or, would impartial observers be surprised at this person’s willingness to become part of a ministry that requires a high level of relational giftedness? If so, further inquiry should take place before proceeding.
This very simplified explanation and process for constructing a Missionary Nurture Team has been developed as an introductory tool for the leadership of a local church that desires to express pastoral-level care for their members that God has called to serve as missionaries.
When a local church takes the steps to move forward with providing specialized nurture for their members that are missionaries, they are also participating in reflecting God’s glory among the nations in a very unique way.
**Adapted from materials produced by HeartstreamResources.com