See also Strategy:Vocational
From: "GFritz" <GFritz@cproject.com>
..I'd suggest you find a couple Mission Pastors in your area and ask them about their jobs. Are they redundant?
You could also write up a job description outlining the kinds of things you would do as a Mission Pastor. If your committee saw the value add to the program that you would bring, they may change their position.
The reality is that for a Mission Pastor, the sky's the limit as far as opportunities are concerned. It is a never ending job that can consume several people if clear direction and focus are not used. A Mission Pastor can add value as a mobilizer, a trainer, a pastor to the missionaries, a liaison with sending agencies, etc. Some Mission Pastors have been aggressive and have worked with their congregations to send short term or even long term teams from their churches. The opportunities are endless!
What is it that you and your Church wants to do in the area of missions? Do you need a dedicated person to do these things? Are you the best person for the job?
..ACMC recommends churches hire a full-time missions director, or pastor, when the missions budget gets between $150,000-$250,000. I think other factors should also be evaluated, such as what kind of support does the missions ministry receive from the senior pastor and other staff. If there is not much mission education from the pulpit or in Sunday Schools then you probably need a full-time missions person. Ironically, most churches cut back in this area, at a time when missions needs more plug and resources...Some of the issues in transitioning from a lay to a staff missions ministry:
1. Missions committees tend to become very proprietary about the large sums of money they oversee. A missions ministry can easily become a power block that is viewed suspiciously by the larger church. One of the goals of having someone on staff to represent missions is not to have a "missions committee lackey" but a spokesman who can release the missions ministry to the larger church so that the whole church can take ownership of it.
2. The difference between a missions director and missions pastor can be critical. Normally a =director= fulfills an administrative role of writing checks to missionaries and maybe organizing a missions conference. A missions =pastor= has the burden to educate the congregation about the biblical basis of missions, communicating God's heart for the lost with a passion, and recruiting, discipling, and nurturing missionaries. A missions pastor will frequently lead teams to visit missionaries, and will also disciple the staff in fulfilling a missions vision in other ministries. A missions pastor should also be an evangelism or outreach pastor, so that missions is seen as evangelism taken cross-culturally.
3. Committee members should be encouraged to be active in some kind of missions ministry, whether international students or inner-city ministries, to avoid committee-itis, and should rotate off the committee to avoid entrenched cliques. One of the challenges for a missions pastor is to recruit and train prospective mission committee members to provide fresh blood for the ministry. 4. Missions minstry, as with most anything that involves a deep heart-commitment can be all-encompassing and all-consuming. It can be taken into an intensively administrative function, involving screening missionaries, allocating a budget, and communicating both on the field and in the church. Or it can be a pastoral ministry, involving a lot of prayer, one-on-one discipling, small-group nurture, and large-congregation mobilization. Or it can be highly programmatic, concentrating on conferences, seminars, short-term projects, etc. The ideal is a balance of these functions, with good delegation and as much involvement from the congregation and staff as possible.
5. Ralph Winter says, among many other things, that mission mobilization is one of the most important functions in the mission enterprise. I would encourage you to seek God's wisdom as to how to bring a full-time missions pastor into the church, and how to get the initiative to come from the rest of the staff and the congregation instead of from the missions committee.
From: Frank Dietz <102142,firstname.lastname@example.org>
Regarding not having a mission pastor, my comment would be that it is a plus. Why? It seems that when we hire someone to do something that the Body of Christ should be doing, the person we hire does the work and the rest begin to sit on their laurels. It is interesting that already your mission budget is bigger than the youth, worship and educational budgets. Plus you have at least 11 people involved in missions. A question in my mind is: does youth department have that many really involved in their department? Or the worship department? Or the educational department? Now I am not against the idea of having someone full-time as a mission pastor, but it seems to be you are moving in the right direction.
..You commented about getting into a job that would give you flexibility in not only meeting the needs of your family, but also time for missions. I think that this is excellent. Computers are the wave of the future and could be a bonus in getting into some of these 10/40 window countries. I am working with other businessmen and in what we call the "Prodesse Network". This is a network of people all over the world wanting to use business for missions. The type of business that we are interested in is 'international trade'. This has a two-fold purpose. 1). It helps get people into the country as far as the visa is concerned and 2) it can create finance, which is always a problem that we are faced with.
[You also commented]"I understand a lot of tentmakers have the same struggle of balancing secular work and ministry". This is true. But why? It is because we have created a dichotomy between what is secular and what is sacred. If the Lord is leading someone into business, to me that is just as important in the eyes of God and just as spiritual as someone who is led to preach. If we are in the 10/40 window and the Lord has opened a door with some business to be there I believe that is our ministry. As we work and do the best we can I believe the Lord will bless, and in that natural surrounding, the Lord will open the door for witness that will eventually lead into His church being planted.