Missions Mobilization Strategies Recruitment – part 2

When we begin to talk about recruitment we need to remember that we are recruiting people to go to totally unreached remote people groups. This is not normal recruitment for typical mission activity. We are recruiting people to go very long term into the most difficult situations people can encounter.

I personally haven’t found it very fruitful to find missionary candidates at missions conferences. I don’t know why this is. I thought about it many times, however, we tend to think that these events are the best places to find missionary candidates. I suggest that you look in other areas when looking for new missionary candidates.

1. In your local congregations or among the people you know.

2. By holding a training event about missions.

3. Creating a website about your training.

God works in a different way than what we would believe. If we’re committing to training people, God brings them in. Call it a training event, but basically were gathering young people in a place to recruit them to do mission work. Because we are the ones committing to follow through with that discipleship, these are typically the situations in which missionary candidates present themselves.

If we just go to a mission conference and put up a table and wait for people to come to us so that we can hand them a brochure after we’ve talked to them a few minutes, this is not the way God is typically worked in my experience.

My wife and I recently went to a youth event for missions. There were nearly 3000 young people at this event. It was one of the most elaborate events I’ve ever been to. My wife and I took 3000 brochures of our missionary training center. I handed out every single brochure and make sure that everyone at the conference got one. The following school year, one person responded to the brochure. This is just one example that I’m remembering where we’ve been at mission conferences with hundreds and even thousands of young people trying to recruit them. After 20 years of doing this, we have found that there’s very little fruit in it.

So you are going to have to develop a training course, it can be in your living room or at your kitchen table and you can call it whatever you want. Call it a cell group or house meeting, but basically, you’re discipling young people in the word of God, and you’re going to have to spend time with them. It doesn’t really matter where you find these young people.

We also have tried social networks. We have started three social networks over the years that now have over 20,000 followers. We also have thousands of opt-in emails from people interested in missions. However, all these followers like things but don’t do much more than that. They have not have had fruit either. I can think of only a few people who’ve been to our training course that came in through the social networks.

I’m not totally giving up on these avenues as even one or two missionary candidates are very important. I will say that starting a website, with the domain name, that specifically says that you are training missionaries, has been a little bit more fruitful than the missionary event or the social networks. But not much.

There’s another avenue that you can try, and I actually suggest this, get out into the street and go door-to-door or to the parks or to where the young people are gathered and start witnessing to people and win them to the Lord. These new disciples are the best possible future missionary candidates because they have no foundation in the local congregation missiology. If you look into the local congregations for missionary candidates, you run into problems. The pastors and leaders don’t want their young people going anywhere.

Pastors and leaders of local congregations don’t normally want their young people to be taught anything that’s not coming from them or their ministry. They especially do not want their young people wanting to go across the world requiring finances in their minds – as if finances were actually a prerequisite to doing the great commission. If you find young people in local congregations that have been there for over a year, it’s going to be very hard to talk to them about doing something so contrary to what they are living.

Going out to unreached peoples is contrary to the teaching of most local congregations

So, starting your own website, and winning your own disciples to the Lord seems to be the best option to look for new missionary candidates. Be very clear about what your website or promotional materials are recruiting for. You are not looking for numbers. You will not have many people in your training. Be clear, they are going to unreached people groups long-term. You could also put up flyers in places where Christians gather or maybe even places where just unbelieving young people gather, that you have a missionary training course.

My wife and I’ve been working in mobilization for over 25 years. We’ve tried everything. We have spent much time dealing directly with pastors and leaders, hoping that those pastors and leaders would trickle down the vision to the missionary candidates. This has not proved fruitful. However, if you know of pastors and leaders who have a little bit of missionary vision you might have coffee with him and you might try to help them. But in the end, you’re going to be looking within their congregations for missionary candidates. This typically does not sit very well with them even if you belong to their congregation.

Pastors and leaders of local congregations have a local vision. They are pastors and leaders locally because their vision is local. It’s not global. So here you are trying to convince people who have a local vision that there are greater needs on the other side of the world. You already have it against you that these local pastors and leaders might believe erroneously that it’s going to cost thousands of dollars monthly to support missionaries. This is an erroneous belief however it is what they believe. You have that in many other erroneous beliefs about missions against you. See How Much Money Does It Cost to Be a Missionary?

But when you offer your own training course or go looking for your own young people, you’re starting fresh with those young people being able to disciple them to become missionaries. You’re able to start something from the grassroots up. This is why I suggest in the previous article that you start reading the Gospels with them every day a few hours a day minimum.

When you are discipling in the beginning don’t do a whole lot of talking. You might do a little bit to help them along speeding up the process a bit. But I would suggest that you read the word of God and let the word of God disciple them. Let the words of Jesus Christ to the discipleship. It will be hard enough for them to understand and take to heart with Jesus is saying.

Get their personal information

Here is another suggestion that comes from much experience. Whenever you find a potential missionary candidate, get their personal information. Also, follow up with him as quickly as possible. The longer you wait the more time you give the enemy to come into the situation. The enemy is very active against our endeavor. There’s not much more important than recruiting missionaries to go to unreached peoples. The only thing more important is discipling these missionaries enough to where they will stay on the field and get the job done.

So when you finally come across someone who is willing to get involved you better get their personal information. Don’t just hand out a brochure hoping they will contact you. And once you have that information in your hands you need to follow up on it quickly. Get into contact with this person.

Another suggestion I have is that when you’re first starting out, don’t gather 30 disciples in your living room. Start with one or two because this takes a lot of time and it’s very hard work. These are your babies who are newborns either into Christ or into the vision of missions and you’re going to have to nurture them, clean them, feed them and help them understand how to walk in Christ. This is a lot of work so I would suggest you start small. The Messiah only had 12 disciples he focused on three and he lost one. So don’t think that you’re going to start out with more disciples than Jesus Christ himself had.

This is going to require a lifestyle change

The discipleship process is not only going to require a lifestyle change from your missionary candidates — it’s going to require one of you. The problem with most mobilizers is that they think that mobilization is recruitment only. They don’t understand that it really involves training. Training people for anything, for any endeavor, is very hard work. Start small. So get ready for a lifestyle change. It probably means that you’re going to have to give up time consuming things are really not contributing to the advancement of the kingdom of God.

Jesus Christ’s missiology in the Gospels was expressly written for the speedy and efficient extension of the message throughout the world. And so when we read these Gospels over and over with our missionary candidates we are also going through the lifestyle change. We are also being changed. If you read the Gospels as though they were written for those who are extending the kingdom of God you’ll be changed to. This is a good thing for you and it’s a good thing for your disciples. So get ready to read the Gospels two hours a day if you’ve never done this before.

If you have never read your Gospels for two hours a day for two entire years, you need to. See the article with the Bible Reading Plan. So you might as well find a young person to do it with. Work with the same-sex. If you’re a woman you need to work with young women. If your man you need to work with young men.

The Bible reading plan on this blog teaches you to highlight in red the missiology of Jesus Christ and highlight in blue the leadership principles that Jesus teaches. You are looking at the most difficult parts of the New Testament. These things are not taught in normal Christian circles. And these are the things that actually these young people are going to need to be able to go to totally unreached people groups. Sit down at your kitchen table or better yet sit down at the table of your disciple in his house or her house and start reading the Gospels. Don’t be religious about it and just be yourself and be real.

Get out of the way and let the Holy Spirit do his job

The recruitment process is basically finding one person or a maximum of two people as quickly as you can and getting into the Gospels with them. Then the process turns to training/discipleship. In a few months’ time, you will see that others come along. You’re going to have to be careful not to want to do all of this work by yourself. After you’ve had a disciple reading their Gospels two hours a day for six months they are pretty much ready to do the same with someone else. They don’t need your help beacuer you have already led them to the source. They don’t need much more help from you. They must understanding that they need to stay in their Gospels for two years. And they need to stay clear of other Christian teachings. That is something you have to disciple in them. You have to make sure your disciples are not being contaminated by the world or the worldly Christian system.

So once newer disciples come along, they can the ones who had about six months doing this. This is why we use a simple plan of reading your Gospels and underlying the parts that can get us out into the darkness where the Gospel is never been preached before. We stick to this simple plan because Jesus Christ is the one doing the discipleship, not us. This is not about us. This is not about trying to grow a megachurch. This is not about putting on youthful clothes and gettting a tattoo to be Mr. Cool Pastor, to have people following us. This is about getting these young people out and away from us and making other disciples. They need to eventually forgetting about us and get into that unreached people group that needs to know who Jesus Christ is.

If you modeling leadership that centers around you, and that you are the larger than life personality, you will be the one that everybody loves and admires. But you won’t be modeling Jesus Christ. You might have a megachurch one day, but it will be full of people who don’t want to go anywhere because they’re following you as leader. Any real discipleship process focused on the Gospels will produce a lot of fruit so it will be a temptation to become the leader who started it all. Many mega churches started this way. It got really cool, and the music was awesome, and the preaching was entertaining but few went to nations. Extend outwardly, not inwardly.

Recruitment of missionary candidates to the unreached nations is all about Jesus Christ. So it might be a good idea that you go through the leadership articles on this website first so that you know for sure why you are doing this. Mobilization isn’t about you, it’s about the unreached people groups who need Jesus Christ. So you need to get out of the way and let the Gospels do their job, let the Holy Spirit do his job by teaching these young people who Jesus Christ is. Everyone involved needs to go into total darkness, into the nations where there are no pastors, leaders and local congregations.