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What Are The Qualifications of a Missionary?

So, What Are The Qualifications of a Missionary?

Before answering this question, let’s address something. When people hear the word ‘qualified,’ they often believe it relates to a standard of perfection in a specific task or duty. What is the actual definition of the word?”

To be qualified involves being trained to perform a particular job. This is a fact indeed, but maybe not the entire picture of what qualification means through the eyes of God. It is not just about the performance that makes someone qualified. To be qualified does not mean you perform a task or duty to perfection. Although, a keyword in the definition is training

Sometimes, even if we have the best abilities for the job, our character and trust in God need time to develop. This is part of the process of a Discipleship Training School (DTS) with Youth With A Mission (YWAM). 

Qualification Beyond Ability

Being qualified goes past the ability to perform. It is about what is inside the heart. In the Word, you can see that God would most often take people who are “unqualified” and use them to do incredible things even though they would not be the first pick of many. God often sees past our lack of qualifications and builds our character to a place where we can handle great responsibility. To start, Joseph had nothing but a handful of dreams. David was not qualified by nature to rule a nation. Before meeting Jesus, the disciples probably never would have imagined themselves standing on street corners preaching. Moses struggled to speak, yet God asked him to lead Israel out of slavery! God chose to take the simple “yes” in the hearts of these people and make something out of them. This is the process of qualification. A “yes” to God in your heart could change a nation! 

Sometimes, God sees good character as a better qualification than practicing and performing based on ability.

The beauty of the Discipleship Training School is that the qualification process happens over six months. You are not expected to arrive already qualified. The program’s purpose is to know God and respond by making Him known. It is a process of learning His heart, His ways, how He relates to us, and His desire for the lost. Our response comes from that process of revelation, and He qualifies each of us at different levels and in different ways throughout that time. 

READ: Are you Called To Missions?

Is Education Needed For Missionaries? 

The short answer is no. Education is not something God needs or requires of us to be used on the mission field. That being said, different types of education could be greatly beneficial to have in your back pocket when heading to a foreign country. You have to remember: You are crossing cultural boundaries into another world that functions in an entirely different way. It is good to be educated on culture ahead of time. DTS helps set you up for the different cultures you may be stepping into. On top of that, in some regions of the world, having a degree may be essential to get through closed doors, but that is not always the case. 

What we see through the life of Jesus, He would often pick the uneducated and outcasts to be His closest companions. The route of “education” Jesus chose to walk with His closest friends was that of discipleship. Jesus walked through day-to-day life with His disciples, teaching them the ways of God and how to have deeper intimacy with Him. Jesus encouraged, challenged, corrected, rebuked, and committed Himself to their growth. This is the heart behind DTS. Not just to check boxes of ability or performance but to be part of a live/learn environment like Jesus did with His disciples. Taking time to learn and grow in the Lord before jumping into a lifestyle of overseas missions is extremely important. The disciples learned this through living life with Jesus. If a tree does not take the time to grow its roots, it inevitably falls. 

Why Education Is Important For Missionaries?

Education can be a helpful tool paired with missions. Again, in some regions of the world, having a degree may be essential to get through closed doors. Looking at the needs of the country you desire to go to could be your first step to reaching those unreached people. Once you discover those needs, take the steps you need to take to get there – that might require going to college, getting certified to teach or work in said nation, or doing a Discipleship Training School (DTS)!

Depending on where God is leading you, any one of these different forms of education could be extremely helpful! Specifically regarding the DTS, a lot of it comes down to knowing God and making Him known. If you do not know Him, you cannot make Him known; therefore, it is essential to take the steps of learning before jumping into an overseas commitment. DTS lays the foundation to form a bridge to the nations. You will learn about the character of God, how to live in a relationship with Him in the day-to-day, and gain a heart for the nations in prayer and worship. You will also learn practical skills on the topics of evangelism, unreached people, and more. This truly sets you up well before you hit the ground running because you will already have these important muscles built up by the time you get there. 

What does it take to be a missionary? 

Simply said: a humble and obedient heart.

If you are out there wondering where to even start, you can rest assured that you are likely in the same boat that David was. He was alone in a field, caring for sheep, a humble young man who simply desired the Lord. Throughout David’s life, you can see that he walked with a high level of obedience toward God. Those seasons in the field, really getting to know the Lord when no one else was looking, is what set him up for all the things God had for him in the future. So be like David! Stay humble and eager to walk in obedience to what God might ask of you, and He will direct you where He wants you to be. You do not have to have a list of qualifications off the bat- just be like David, desiring the Lord, and then see where He takes you!

How long does the process take?

It can be as easy as doing a six-month DTS program through YWAM. Each week is packed full of learning and growing with a group of others who also desire to know God and make Him known in every nation. Every student that walks through the door at YWAM is a potential missionary. No matter your skill, just remember: all He desires is a humble and obedient heart!  

Have questions about DTS? Check out these answers to 10 questions about Discipleship Training School >>

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The Discipleship Training School is for anyone wanting to be equipped for impact. Practical, personal, powerful, this 6-month intensive missions training will provide you with tools, focus, and real-life experience to fulfill the Great Commission.

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“… (DTS) showed me that this life isn’t just for me to live but to bring other people in this relationship with God.” 

– Kephas, 2016 DTS

“It was extremely encouraging in my walk with the Lord because my identity and calling were being solidified and called out.” 

– Kailey, 2016 DTS

“God has reminded, reaffirmed, and reoriented me in a number of areas. “Prioritizing” turns up the spiritual volume in your life.”

– David, 2016 DTS

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