Question about Mission Agencies for missionaries:
"Why do sending agencies require missionaries to be members or active in a local church?"
Your church is also likely going to be the major financial support for you if you do become a missionary. It's hard to raise support without a sending church. Similarly, it's hard to get organized prayer behind you and bombarding the dark places of this world without a sending church supporting you, holding the ropes emotionally, financially, and spiritually for you.
Many mission agencies are passionate about church planting. If you're not a part of a church, you're probably not going to be a good church planter.
I served in junior high and high school church ministry for a few years before going to the mission field, and those church members, the kids' parents, and the church leadership grew to trust me and believe in God’s calling on my life. Many of them have been faithful prayer and financial supporters for over twenty years!
“Not forsaking the fellowship of other believers” is not only important for every believer but even more important for someone who senses God calling them to serve him in missions.
Lucifer was essentially a rebel who refused to respect Kingdom authority. 1 Sam. 15:23 states, "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry." Since we are called to be members of the body and to fellowship with other believers that we submit to and hold ourselves accountable to, not doing so is a form of rebellion and disobedience to God’s Word.
Quite frankly, church membership is a sign of spiritual maturity.
One way to read many Bible stories of the great people of faith is to understand them as documentation of how God took proud and independent people and re-formed them into humble servants who learned how to be submissive to God’s good plans. Ask God to lead you to a mission-minded church that will prepare you for the humble submission that cross-cultural ministry requires.
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