Question about Guidance for missionaries:
"I’ve been wanting to become something similar to an administrative assistant for missionaries. Is this something that’s needed? If so, what skills are most needed? How would you recommend getting these skills?"
Skills in organization, writing, finance, scheduling/logistics and strategic planning are very, very valuable skills to possess on the mission field.
In addition to the mission field needing administratively-gifted individuals, missionary mobilization bases (those that focus on training and sending new missionaries to the field) are always in need of administrative assistants, typically in a variety of areas (finance, member care, training, etc). Some of these administrative positions might even be partially or fully-salaried because of the great need for these individuals.
Do some research and inquire with some mission agencies you find interesting. I can almost guarantee you will find many, many opportunities!
He had grown up on the mission field, gone to seminary, served as a pastor, and was serving as a full-time foreign missionary. His gifting is definitely pastoral and currently has a wonderful ministry mentor national pastors. However, at that time his organization needed administrative support and he was filling that role.
That small comment planted a seed that started growing because my gifting and skill is very much administrative. My occupation in the States was managerial and administrative. While I do preach and share the gospel as a passion my gifts center on administration. It was that comment I needed to see that my gifts were needed on the mission field. I have served as school administrator, clinic administrator, director of operations, and children's home administrator, just to name of few of the missionary "hats" I have worn over the course of my missionary service.
Now, how to get those skills? Volunteer at your church. First and foremost, serve where you are. Your church has a host of administrative needs that go on behind the scenes Monday through Sunday. Go hug one of the church secretaries, thank them for the work that they do, and ask if you can help a couple hours a week to help them in their service to your church. You can take accounting classes, computer classes, business classes and more.
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