How do I become a full time Missionary?
Jason, here is a brief and general answer to your question:
1) Sending agency. Most missionaries leave their residence to work in a cross-cultural situation through the help of a sending agency. This agency usually describes opportunities for service, orients them to what life will be like where they will service, and expresses requirements for acceptance. They also channel funds to the missionary and give certain oversight.
2) There are different types of sending agencies: Denominational boards are usually prepared to fund accepted missionary candidates, Non-denominational agencies require the prospective missionary to raise their own funds, and individual congregations (usually large ones) act as their own agency. There are also organizations that help individuals who would like to serve as “self supporting missionaries” (sometimes referred to as “tent-makers” after the experience of Paul in the New Testament who partially supported himself repairing tents) find secular paying positions overseas.
3) Sending agencies usually require prospective candidates to describe their missionary call, want to know about their educational level, their age, their practical experience, and their relationship to a local congregation.
4) All through this process, the prospective missionary usually is involved with sharing his or her call with friends and churches, raising up a group of people who will give support in prayer and or funds, is learning about the place where he or she may serve, and is probably growing in faith while trusting God for His guidance and support.
5) The new missionary usually spends the first period of time in the new location learning the language and the culture and in general orientation. This often includes a fair dose of culture shock, which usually diminishes as the individual learns how to communicate with the people in the new situation, learns his or her way around, and gets involved both in friendships and a meaningful ministry.
I trust this brief overview is helpful. Feel free to ask for more details.
In His Grace,