Jock Brunskill is the National Director of WEC Aotearoa New Zealand, this month’s MISSION WORLD featured strategic mission partner.
A question I’m often asked is “How do you know whether you’re called?” The short answer is, I don’t really know. It seems to happen in all kinds of ways. In biblical accounts some people heard audibly from God, others had a vision, and others were set apart by God during worship and fasting. Some were called before birth and others in old age.
One of my friends had a ‘call’ to serve the Lord in Albania, which he is now doing. When I asked how he got such a specific call from God, I learned he received it while interviewing a mission leader who, that day, had received two emails crying out for new workers. One was from a pioneering situation in Albania, the other from a more established team. When my friend said he was more a pioneering type he was told, “Go to Albania,” and that became the Word of the Lord for him.
People ask how do you know which agency to go with? Of course this is not one-size-fits-all territory. Do your research well. Ask around. Agencies used to interview candidates to see which candidates they will accept (and still do), but these days you interview us as well.
Find out about the agency’s speciality or specific field of interest. Enquire about faith and finance policies, philosophy about team, decision making, internationalisation, ministry focus, crisis management, support targets and personnel. Ask about training and pre-field orientation. Don’t just look at what they have in New Zealand, look at their ministries, structures and member-care systems around the world. Get advice from your pastoral leaders and elders. Look for the right agency fit and don’t be scared to ask hard questions. And be prepared to have hard questions asked of you also.
Nearly every agency is committed to collaboration and there is a lot of work done together. This is not only ‘out there’ but also ‘in here’ with many resources being shared, including personnel. It’s a connected world. These days one agency will refer you to another if they think it’s a better fit. We actually get along with each other very well!