Convey interest to elder, sending pastor, or community group leader
As Sojourn East continues to develop a sending church culture, our hope is that members who have an interest in or feel called to overseas ministry would explore that calling in the context of our church community rather than going it alone. As elders, staff, and lay leaders, we seek to walk alongside them on this journey by providing resources, information, guidance, and prayer support. Our entire development process is designed with these goals in mind.
Apply for and Attend School of Missions
School of Missions is a 10 month formal development program shared by Sojourn Collective, beginning in the fall of each year (applications in August). The curriculum is organized around three key areas: Head (Knowledge), Heart (Character), and Hands (Skills). The aim is to allow prospective sent one(s)s to learn about world missions, develop personally and spiritually, and practice missionary skills all within the context of community.
Complete Development Process Application
After beginning the School of Missions, the next step in being sent out from Sojourn East as a mid or long-term worker is to complete the Development Process Application. The application is confidential and consists of 40 questions pertaining to personal matters and 20+ questions on theology. The intent of the application is to provide elders and staff as complete a picture of the prospective sent one(s) as possible.
Complete Self Assessment and Enneagram
Self-awareness and understanding are a crucial component of any personal development process. Consequently, the first step for Sojourn East prospective sent one(s) is to complete a self-assessment questionnaire based on the three key areas highlighted in School of Missions: Head, Heart, and Hands. Additionally, the Enneagram test is used to further understanding of personality traits and tendencies.
Have soul care interview and receive recommendations
Sojourn East seeks to send out members who are spiritually mature and emotionally healthy. In order to focus on appropriate, relevant areas of growth during the development phase, each prospective sent one(s) will meet with a representative of the East Soul Care team and receive recommendations based upon that interview.
Have assessment interview and receive Personal Development Plan (PDP)
The prospective sent one(s) will meet with the sending pastor or elder for an interview. The purpose of the interview is for the pastor/elder to further get to know the sent one(s), to ask questions and make clarifications based on preceding applications and questionnaires, and ultimately to determine whether or not the sending process should continue. If it is mutually decided that the process should to continue, the Sending Pastor will write a Personal Development Plan to be utilized throughout the development process.
Meet regularly with PDP coach
The Personal Development Plan is meant to be an encouraging (though not always easy) growth process. In order to facilitate this, Sojourn East will provide a coach (an elder or qualified lay person) who will walk alongside the sent one(s) as they journey through the process.
Meet with church elders
Because every Sojourn East sent one(s) will receive the affirmation of the church elders upon commissioning, the opportunity to meet and speak with the elders during the development process is important. During this time, the elders will be able to get to know the sent one(s), hear about their calling, ask questions, and pray for the sent one(s).
Meet with counselor or work on soul care recommendations
During the assessment process the sent one(s) received recommendations based on a meeting with a soul care pastor or elder. The recommendations may entail meeting regularly with a counselor or working on specific areas independently, and are considered a part of the overall Personal Development Plan.
Choose agency and raise financial support (if applicable)
Sojourn East has partnerships with several key sending agencies and can assist sent one(s)s in the process of choosing a pathway to the field. Additionally, while the sent one(s) is personally responsible for raising the necessary financial support, the church can assist in the process by providing access to resources such as trainings and materials.
Begin missionary care process
At Sojourn East each sent one(s) or sent family is matched with a representative on the church Missionary Care Team. Once on the field, the representative will connect with the sent one(s) once a month, pray for them, and encourage them. In the best case scenario, the sent one(s) and Care Team rep will begin meeting during the development phase in order to build relationship and trust, as well as the habit of connecting consistently.
Have exit interview with sending pastor
Upon completion of the PDP the sent one(s) will meet again with the Sending Pastor to debrief their development process and make a recommendation that they be sent out by Sojourn East. At this time they will receive and sign the sending covenant from Sojourn East.
Receive the affirmation of church elders
The Sending Pastor will make a recommendation to the elders that we commission and send out the individual or family for cross cultural service.
Participate in commissioning service
Prior to departure for the field, the sent one(s) will be commissioned by an elder before the congregation during a Sunday service. This step is the public, visual representation of the entire sending process, culminating in the church’s acknowledgement, blessing, and partnership. In some cases due to the secure nature of engagement the commissioning service may take place privately with the elders and their community group.