Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to go for life?
No, there are many options for ministry with Encompass World Partners spanning from a few weeks to a few years, from part-time to full-time, from volunteer to salaried. Each option has a different process for approval and a different set of requirements based on the needs for the ministry. Each is an opportunity to be strategically involved in church planting and development around the world. Check out the options on our opportunities search.
How do I choose where to go?
Some people feel a call by God to a specific place. Others are less sure where God would want them to serve, sensing only that He does want them someplace in cross-cultural ministry. We work with you and your church through a ministry development process to match you to a ministry and to confirm God’s leading in that direction. We have many needs in our existing ministries, and we are open to innovation and new places for ministry. While we may have advice or feedback concerning possible ministry sites, the choice is really yours as you seek to follow God’s leading in your life.
Will I be expected to minister alone?
Our missionaries are assigned to teams mobilized to initiate and sustain church-planting movements. Each team member has a role to play within that ministry. A Regional Director supports the local team leaders. We strive to make as many decisions as possible on a local level, enabling teams and team leaders to adapt their approaches to the local situation. At the same time, there is accountability to be following effective strategies and approaches and resources to handle situations and problems.
What are the qualifications you are looking for?
While there are qualifications specific to each ministry, there are general ones common to all ministries. A person needs to evidence a vital Christian life, to have a record of commitment to the local church, to have a strong identity in Christ, to have healthy family relationships, to be able to initiate and build relationships, to be able to work on a team, to have been involved in ministry in his or her local church, and to be able to cross cultural barriers. No one is perfect, but a missionary must have grown in these areas sufficiently to handle the stresses of cross-cultural life and ministry.
Will you train me?
Yes. We believe in “on the job” training. We have a number of ministry training options, including internships, specialized training programs, seminars, and ongoing education. We are also flexible in language training approaches. We adapt the specific initial training approach to the intended ministry plan. We encourage long-term missionaries to continue to sharpen their skills through ongoing training.
What do I need to do to apply?
That depends on your goal. Is it long or short term? What kind of ministry are we discussing? We adjust the ministry development approach to be appropriate to your plans. We include questions, references, and discussion with your church to confirm God’s leading. For longer-term ministries, we may include some personal profiles, interviews, and additional referencing. The time invested varies based on your intended ministry and how fast you and your references respond, from a few weeks for an internship to a couple of months for long term service. Our goal is to assist you and your church in thinking through how God may be leading you to confirm His call on your life to join the Encompass team.
What education is required?
For Encompass, education is not the primary qualifying factor. We want to get to know the whole individual, to discern his or her gifts and abilities, in order to see where he or she could be most effective in strategic ministry. Education is only one part of that evaluation. So our goal is to match a person, his or her experience and education to the needs of a particular ministry. Depending on a person’s giftedness and potential ministry we may recommend additional education or provide ongoing education to further equip a missionary for specific ministry.
Do I need to be a pastor?
No, we need teams that include people with differing gifts. For example, in a number of teams a crucial need is for administrative facilitators to handle the myriad of details in today’s mission world. Whatever their roles, all missionaries are involved in personal evangelism as well as their specific ministry focus. We need professionally trained church planters on our teams, but some team members will use their life experience to develop evangelistic relationships. We are seeking to recruit students, second career people, and retirees who would be able to use their backgrounds to accelerate church-planting ministries.
What about education for my children?
Encompass takes family issues very seriously and seeks to assure access to viable education for each child. Encompass missionaries use home schooling, national schools, private schools, international schools, and MK schools. The issue is what is right for that family and that particular situation. Missionary families discuss available options with their team leader and make their choices based on what’s best for their children. Support levels include funding for the schooling that is appropriate for the family’s situation.
Will I have to raise support?
Encompass is operated as a faith mission. That gives you the opportunity to develop a team of people who will be part of the ministry God is calling you to. That is really the issue – if God has called you to ministry, He has called a team to send you. We will help develop an effective strategy for you to discover your team of prayer and financial partners.
Will I be able to survive on missionary support?
It is true that “missionary” is not the highest paid profession. At the same time, we work hard at making support levels adequate to provide for the needs of missionaries and their families. We do provide salaries adjusted to actual costs on the specific site, insurance, retirement, and other benefits, so missionaries can focus on their ministry without serious financial concerns.
What about school debt?
We know that college debt is a reality for many. An average level of debt will not be a barrier. We will work with you to find solutions. We do allow additional support to be raised to cover payments while you are in ministry with us. So talk with us about your situation.