Question about Professional Skills for missionaries:

"My son is pursuing a degree in computer science. Is there a need for this in the mission field?"

"Technology can bring the gospel where a missionary can’t."

Answer from Alan in North Carolina, who has served in missions for 24 years—18 with Pioneers and six with TWR International.

Today people all over the world (even in unreached or least-reached countries) are on their cell phones many hours a day looking for things to entertain, educate, and inspire them. So, it is incredibly important that the Church has a presence there as well to share the gospel, disciple young Christians, and train and encourage believers to share their faith.

Our ministry has IT/IS and computer science missionaries in North Carolina and in strategic places throughout the world who are developing apps, creating media databases, building FTP playout systems, and much more. This not only allows us to reach people with the gospel but also to minister to refugees, women or children in crisis, potential leaders, and many more.

We are looking for more people with these gifts and talents to serve with us.

What a great opportunity we have now to use God-given technology to bring a message of hope to the ends of the earth.

"Technology plays a key role in missions."

Answer from Marti in South Carolina, who has served as a mission mobilizer since 1995, most recently with Pioneers.

As in many other walks of life, missionaries are just as likely to find God using their training as using them despite their training. God may draw your son into an area of service that involves computers or into something quite different. "Where can I find a position using my college degree?" is only one of several avenues we see potential missionaries following as they seek to find a fit. Others include the desire to work with a specific team or agency or in a certain country or culture - even if that means doing something you never expected and putting previous training aside.

That said, computer science skills and schooling have many applications in missions. Some computer science majors end up supporting the infrastructure of the mission agency and provide technical support for the staff. Others contribute to evangelism, education, community or business development, or more.

The agency I serve with has a dozen people in the IT department just serving at the headquarters, including web and database designers and programmers, strategists, help desk staff, tech purchasers, a security specialist, a VP, and an admin assistant. Regional offices overseas have some of the same needs.

Some specialists develop tools used for Bible translation or theological education. Some people teach computer science in Christian schools or public ones. These days, many are interested in harnessing technology for evangelism, disciple-making, and church planting (see Missions Media U).

You can find jobs through services like Mission Next or Christian Jobs, attending conferences (see Urbana or CROSS Conference), or sometimes by talking to church and ministry leaders you know.

"Absolutely, computer science experts are needed!"

Answer from B in PA, who has served with CTEN in United States for 12 years years.

Disclaimer: The following answer has not been reviewed or edited.

Our mission agency has a missionary who uses his IT skills to write programs for mission agencies, make web pages, apps and much more. We were just with him today and he said he has so much work to do he is praying for God to raise up others willing to use their IT skills in God’s kingdom.
Technology is the wave that is now carrying the Gospel to places where missionaries are at high risk and need to be undercover. It allows them to bring specialized equipment into places that are opposed to the Gospel and send the message out in ways that can’t be stopped.

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