Essential qualities that a missionary needs to have.


ANSWER From: Chris`

  1. An abiding in God's grace through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.`
  2. A believing obedience to the Word of God and a walking in the Holy Spirit`
  3. A commitment to the Great Commission and compassion for the lost`
  4. An understanding of cultural differences and human nature`
  5. An ability to contextualize Bible truth in cross-cultural terms and values`
  6. An ability to persevere against all odds and to live by faith`
  7. The willingness to die for Jesus Christ and the lost


In some cases I have seen missionaries, whose function is more technical, perform well with a dutiful commitment to Christ and the Great Commission. Their contact with people is minimal, but their contribution to the Great Commission is great. In God's sovereignty he can also take those who have very little cross-cultural understanding and use their witness to Christ for his purpose of salvation. Also what may appear as failure can turn to fantastic success, e.g. Jim Elliott's martyrdom and the conversion of the Aucas.


From: Bill Stearns <>
Herb Kane came up with a list of the ideals of missionary character: Physical vitality, cross-cultural adaptability, ability to communicate, functional intelligence (I like that one!), an ability to plan, an ability to take leadership, and ability to train using discipling and nurturing skills, an ability to follow, spiritual maturity and spiritual endurance, psychological maturity and a practical concern for others.

The Center for Organizational and Ministry Development lists the ideal qualities of the church-planter in particular: A person of faith and prayer, committed to personal holiness, a Kingdom builder, a sovereignly submissive planner, a servant-leader, psychologically mature, an effective communicator, maintaining a Christ-centered family

TMR Research, 312 Melcanyon Road, Duarte CA 91010 USA puts out a profile/diagnostic self-test for tentmakers that's pretty helpful for assessing goer qualifications. It's called the Tentmaker Research Evaluation Profile.

But one of the key trends that God is strongly initiating in the Harvest Force these days is sending the NON-TRADITIONAL missionary--the divorcee, the recovered alcoholic, the plumber without the proper degrees, etc., etc. So it's critical that we don't start putting together this idealistic list (which no one can perfectly meet) and without thinking add our own requirements of proper age (He's sending kids and grandmothers who expect to die in Mongolia) or proper debt level, etc., etc.


From: Hugh Wessel <>
The information that a mission board needs to evaluate has two components. Most missions require proven ministry skills for the job the candidate is being asked to do. For instance a proven ability to evangelize if one is to do church planting. The second component has essentially to do with "character."

In the French language, ...we have a word for someone who is sensitive, "sensible" while there is another word, "susceptible" that has, I believe, no English equivalent. It means someone who is caught up with their own feelings, is easily wounded, one with whom you have to be careful with as they can easily take thinks the wrong way....From my observations over the years this is the one area that missionaries need to be examined.

Another character trait that needs to be flushed out is..."suspicion." I want to know if the person has a tendency to look for or ascribe motives to those with whom they interact. Closely related to this is the way people then handle their judgments and opinions they have made of others. Is their natural tendency to hold this all in for months, or to quickly air what is on their mind?

The French Bible speaks of not having a "double heart" but rather of having a "simple heart." My wife calls it having a "good heart" She says of me to others "He is impossible, but he has a good heart!" ..Call it what you like, " a simple heart" or " a good heart," tough to define, but I would want to know this too in the qualifications for missionary service. Moving along a similar line of thought, is this a person who tends to be bitter? Suppose you have had to deal with a problem; will bitterness take root in the person?

I would like to have in candidate's files Myers-Briggs test results. This test has been helpful in understanding people in different or new ways. I recommend [it] highly...

A totally different area that needs to be uncovered is the person's ability to communicate. Now I am not talking about normal communication. I need to know if the person is a -winsome- communicator. {Are they comfortable communicating in public, [or is their] style flat...boring? I am not saying such people...cannot be a missionary nor part of a team; but, I am saying I need to know are they "communicators."