What does it take for an effective missionary to stay on the field? In Missio Nexus’ most recent edition of “Evangelical Missionary Quarterly,” they mentioned International Project’s Equip program as a highly effective missionary training that prepares mission workers for long-term success.
“Field leaders agreed that new workers come to the field today less and less discipled. The exception is normally seen in those who have completed a non-formal program of training, similar to the program with International Project in New York City.”
A need for training
Elliot Stephens addresses the issue of retention and attrition rates and the need for intentional preparatory training programs, onboarding and mentorship. Research showed that 47 percent of missionaries leave the field within the first five years. However, maximum church-planting effectiveness normally occurs after eight years. Additionally, 50 percent of organizations lack an onboarding and orientation process for their new arrivals. An increasing number of people enter the mission field without any prior training.
Based on this article, 90 percent of those interviewed credited their preparatory training programs as critical to their success on the field. Every interviewee also said mentorship was absolutely crucial for longevity.
Effective missionary training
Stephens named additional factors necessary for successful cross-cultural transition and effective missionary work — leading to higher retention rates. These include spiritual vitality, relational maturity, and ministry effectivity. International Project’s Equip Missionary Training program actively addresses each of these areas. Our in-depth, hands-on training and mentorship also provides a foundation of theology and methodology in missions. We do this by joining our participants with our established long-term teams in unreached neighborhoods. This partnership provides practical, transferable tools, skills and methodologies for effective ministry.