Ministry Team Manual

Ministry Team Rules

Following are some suggestions to keep in mind as you participate on your ministry team:

  1. Please understand that fellow team members and nationals may have different doctrinal beliefs. Our focus should be the Lordship of Jesus Christ in everyone's life.
  2. To extend or shorten your time on the field from that of the ministry team, you must get prior approval from the MFM office before leaving home. This is important in order for the MFM office to properly cover logistics, insurance, and other ministry team procedures.
  3. MFM does not allow additional trip activities, outside the planned trip activities, without the approval of MFM and the OMS Field prior to departure from the United States.

You are a team

  1. Of utmost importance is the fact that the team leader is responsible for the team, and the team must be submissive to him/her.
  2. The team and the team leader must be submissive to the host missionary(s) at ALL times. He/she is the authority on the field.
  3. Remember that you represent your church, your country, OMS, and the body of Christ as a whole. Americans have a reputation that precedes them; please help dismiss this bad reputation by being humble, submissive, and a unified team of Christians.


The power of witness

The testimony of an eyewitness has powerful impact in a court of law. It can sway the decision of the jury and determine the outcome of the entire case. In fact, in life and death cases a witness may hold the power of human life in the truthfulness of his statements. Our legal system is built around the power of a first-hand report.

Obviously, your role as an international witness has some unique factors about it. You may have to speak through an interpreter. Your choice of illustrations will have to be limited to what your audience can comprehend. Most certainly the setting will not be what you are accustomed to back home; those aspects of cross-cultural witnessing will take some preparation on your part. However, the basic function of taking the stand as a witness is the same: you simply tell what has happened to you, by God's grace.

Quite often witnesses are tempted to believe that they have to persuade or convince their hearers of the truth of the gospel or of their need to accept it. That is not the work of a witness. In a courtroom, a witness has no responsibility to convince the jury or to argue one side of the case. He simple states what he has seen and heard as accurately as he can report it, and he leaves the convincing up to the advocates.

This is precisely your work as an international witness. State what God has done in your life in as clear a manner as possible; and leave the convincing to the power of the Holy Spirit. He is the only one that convicts men of sin and judgement, but he uses the straightforward accounts of sincere believers in the process.

Cross Cultural Tips

Speaking through an interpreter

  1. Speak slowly and clearly, but not mechanically.
  2. Speak in complete sentences. Avoid use of several conjunctions.
  3. Be appreciative of your interpreter and thank him. His job is not an easy one, and he will take it seriously.
  4. Avoid the use of puns, jokes, slang, poetry, colloquial illustrations from home, etc. If in doubt, ask a missionary for advice.
  5. Your communication will be much more effective if you endeavor to keep your speech simple, humble, and direct.

Travel Tips

Protection of self and belongings

It is impossible to know when or whether hijacking, piracy, or kidnapping will happen. But just as we trust the Lord for our daily lives, we must trust Him as we travel to visit our OMS fields. We can take some steps to protect ourselves:

  1. Act conservatively and keep a low-key profile.
  2. Avoid expensive clothing and luggage.
  3. Let family and friends be aware of where you will be. After all arrangements for your ministry team are complete, you will receive names and addresses of fellow team members along with telephone numbers where you can be reached.
  4. Take as photocopy of your passport. If an emergency arises and your passport is lost or stolen; or if, for instance, your trip is lengthened and your passport expires while you are abroad, it can be replaced by the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy often within one business day. A record of your passport number and place and date of issue facilitates the process.
  5. DON'T VENTURE OUT ALONE. Always stay with the team. Your team leader should know where you are at all times. You must always carry your passport or a copy with you at all times.
  6. Take extra eyeglasses and any prescription medication you will need during the trip.
  7. Don't carry too much cash at one time. It is best to divide your cash up while on the field so, if you are robbed you don't lose everything. Credit cards are rarely usable while on the field. If taking a credit card, be sure to inform the credit card company before departure.

Your Trip

Your visit to the mission field

It is not "unspiritual" to sightsee on a ministry team. MFM may include some sightseeing in the ministry team cost. A translator will always accompany you. Ask questions; allow your guides to describe their country with pride. But be willing to see the country from the perspective of missionaries and nationals. Be ready to travel by bus, ox-cart, train, canoe, horseback, or on foot!

Missionaries enjoy having teams visit. You bring many good things: fresh news, new games, jokes and ideas, care packages, conversational English; eager, curious minds and open, burdened hearts.

Most importantly, though, you will bring encouragement. Many missionaries spend weeks at a time giving their time, talents, patience, experience, and spiritual leadership. Share with the missionaries your faith and how it has changed and is changing your life. Allow them to share prayer burdens with you. Spend time together in Bible study, prayer, singing, and worship.

Laugh together and perhaps share tears together. Allow the missionaries to be human. Recognize the difficulty of the work they are doing and encourage them to continue faithfully. Trust and respect the missionaries.

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