Advance Magazine
Summer 2024

Steps to Send

When God answers your prayers for more harvest workers, your church enters into a privileged role of preparing your members to serve Christ. First, though, both church leadership and the missionary prospect should begin bathing this endeavor in prayer. It is God who sends, and it is God who promises His empowering presence to those who go. Along with prayer, there are also practical steps you should take as a church.

Evaluate and Develop

Your prospective missionaries’ gifting and burden may require them to have specific practical skills. The church should also evaluate them in areas critical to missionary effectiveness and help them seek further training and experience.

First, assess the individual’s character. How does he or she respond to authority? How do they handle responsibilities? Is he or she trustworthy, diligent, blameless, godly, and humble? For married people, is the marriage honoring to the Lord? Paul’s lists of qualifications for pastors and deacons in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1:5-9 are good guides for missionaries even if they are not going to serve in those official church offices. Are they stewarding their priority relationships well, not only with family they will leave behind, but also with their own family they will take with them, if married? Even if the prospect is godly in their respective role in the home, the pastor will need to continue shepherding them as the new missionaries face straining obstacles ahead.

Second, evaluate the candidate’s fruitfulness. Only God can change people, but it is important to assess the results of the individual’s ministry efforts alongside his reputation for ministry faithfulness. Do they actively pursue a passion for souls and God’s work in people? What effects are they having on those to whom they minister? The candidate’s home church is best suited to accurately evaluate this and implement needed development.

Third, assess the would-be missionary’s Bible knowledge. Knowing Scriptures and theology is vital to effective service. Formal Bible degrees are valuable, but evaluate not only one’s training in theology but also, more importantly, his understanding of theology and ability to explain it to others. Especially when serving cross-culturally, being able to clearly articulate what the Bible teaches is of absolute importance. If needed, implement a growth plan through reading or intentional training with the pastoral staff or a trusted institution.

If a prospect lacks in any of these areas, it may not mean a closed door, but rather an opportunity for growth and development.

Count the Cost

In our day of myriad technological solutions, your prospective missionary will need help navigating the many avenues to serve on their field. Prepare to walk with the prospect through wise considerations of a mission agency, field, and ministry team. Help them know which agencies your church is comfortable working with. If you have little experience, seek trusted churches’ recommendations, and visit recommended agencies’ headquarters to meet the staff and catch their vision. BMM welcomes visits from pastors and prospective missionaries. This is a vital partnership, and neither we nor you should take it lightly.

Beyond agency is the field and ministry team. When my wife and I sought a place to serve, we prioritized finding a team with which we fit well. Phone, email, and in-person meetings with prospective teammates to hear about their work, the need on the field, and their personal approach to life and ministry were especially critical in our preparation and planning. Our pastor was readily available to hear our concerns and lead us in our thought processes. It is often very helpful for the pastor or a trusted church leader to accompany the prospect on a survey trip to their intended ministry field and meet the team at work there. Counting the cost in these ways will pay dividends in later cultural and personal adjustment to the life and ministry to which God is calling them.

Pray and Authorize

At the appropriate time in the candidate’s preparation, church leadership should get the congregation more involved in the process. According to the model of the church in Antioch (Acts 13:1-3), sending a missionary should happen in the context of earnest prayer and fasting. Consider hosting special prayer events for this prospective missionary as the church prepares to send. When the time is right, the congregation will meet to officially authorize Baptist Mid-Missions to accept their missionary under its umbrella and within its policies and procedures. At this time of authorizing and commissioning these qualified church members, you as a church are making a solemn commitment to:

• Pray regularly for their spiritual growth and ministry effectiveness.

• Encourage, assist, and support them through financial and material resources.

• Communicate frequently with them, seeking to maintain an active and accountable relationship.

• Provide leadership and direction for their life and ministry in cooperation with Baptist Mid-Missions.

Be aware that your church will experience moments of tears and rejoicing as, by God’s power, you address the darkness that pervades the harvest fields to which you are sending your qualified and prepared laborers. Their service will be all the stronger for the careful screening, preparation, and pledge of ongoing partnership you’ve given them.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Sending through BMM

  • Engage in direct conversations with BMM to understand the agency’s application process, policies, and procedures.
  • Walk through the church authorization and commissioning process.
  • Cover the necessary costs for your new missionaries to travel to and attend BMM’s Candidate Seminar.
  • Provide startup funds for equipment, vehicle, and other expenses to start pre-field ministry.
  • Support them sacrificially, demonstrating your enthusiastic backing.
  • Help them make contacts and provide weekly encouragement throughout pre-field ministry.
  • Host a commissioning/sendoff service shortly before they leave for the field, sending them in a manner worthy of God (3 John 6).

Request a free copy of The Sending Church: A Dozen Ideas for Missions-Minded Pastors at

Advance Web

Travis Gravley

BMM’s Administrator for Church Relations & Enlistment

Related Pages

Advance Web 03 ways
Three Ways Your Sent Missionaries Want You to Support Them

Have you ever had the opportunity to ask your sent missionaries how you as a sending church can support them? When we joined BMM in 2022, we and our church, Chisago Lakes Baptist Church (Chisago City, Minnesota), embarked on a partnership journey together for the sake of the gospel to the nations. We are learning and growing in this partnership together, being unified together for the sake of Christ’s name.

Advance Web Not Alone 8 copy 4
Your Global Impact

This journal entry could be the testimony of virtually any missionary at Baptist Mid-Missions. And this is where you can make an impact in fulfilling the Great Commission.

Advance Web Israel
Israel 2025

Watch the Bible come alive during 10 life-changing days as Baptist Mid-Missions leads a tour to Israel.

Continue browsing

Your cart is empty.

Browse missionaries and projects.

Choose an amount:

Between $5 and $250,000