Choosing an agency to partner with can seem like a daunting task. There are numerous options and at times it can seem like many of them are saying and doing the same thing, just with a different logo! It could be easier to simply not choose an agency and go just with the support of your church, which is your primary sending body. Where an agency comes in, is as the mission facilitator. An agency is established as an organisation with expertise, knowledge and experience gained through their people in specific parts of the world and with particular ministry foci. The combination of church and agency offers good support for individuals in fulfilling their calling and in all the details of planning, preparation and support.
MISSSION WORLD's recommendation is to partner with an agency wherever possible and our reasons for this include:
- An agency can assist the relationship between the church as the sending body and the individual being sent.
- An agency can offer and guide with focused orientation / preparation to a team or individuals prior to departure and also debriefing on their return.
- Logistics such as transport, accommodation, visas and permits, medical requirements etc. can be dealt with by the agency using their extensive knowledge.
- An agency has proven expertise, experience and connection in focused areas of the world and already established links and relationships for effective placement and pastoral care on the field.
- An agency has procedures in place for support through times of crisis.
- For teams, the pressure of organising an itinerary can remain with the agency rather than the church or team leader who instead can focus on the team itself.
- An agency can assist in helping people to reflect on and understand issues of culture and religion and then to reflect theologically on where the Gospel fits with these.
It is important to take the time to explore agency options keeping in mind the values, vision and logistical components that are important to you. This will ensure that the best fit in helping you fulfil that which God is calling you to. Click here for some areas to think about as you explore agency options.