Called and Qualified
By Rick Johnson
Dec. 2, 2012
In the secular business world, matching job descriptions with qualified candidates requires a rigorous search. So how does an effective blending of people and talents come about? Assemblies of God World Missions relies on the Holy Spirit’s ability to speak to the hearts of qualified people and call them into His service in the place where they can best serve the kingdom of God.
When new Assemblies of God missionaries are accepted, they become part of a relationship between the Lord of the harvest who calls people and the sending agency that provides the means. He brought about our missionary mobilization process over the course of this Fellowship’s history.
At the first Assemblies of God General Council in 1914, a resolution was passed, declaring that all who claim to be called to serve as missionaries must be properly tested in these areas:
1. Their personal experience of “full New Testament salvation.”
2. Their divine call to missions.
3. Their physical, mental and spiritual qualifications.
Many people have an idealized picture of missionary work. Certainly there is excitement in traveling to another country and learning another culture. But it is also hard work. Spiritual warfare inevitably occurs when followers of Christ take the gospel into the enemy’s territory. Candidates meet challenges they are not even aware of as they begin the thorough application process.
As every individual or couple comes to be interviewed, we seek confirmation that God has laid His hand upon them. What will enable them to remain in an environment if things they plan do not come about? What will keep them committed to the task when they are tired and discouraged, low on funds, far from family, or possibly even opposed by local authorities?
When we commission married couples, we recognize God’s calling on both husband and wife. God doesn’t place a ministry burden on only one marriage partner. Particularly in world missions, the responsibilities of family, ministry and cultural adjustments are too great for a couple that is not united in purpose.
As a Spirit-led, missions-sending agency, AG World Missions strongly emphasizes and constantly expresses reliance upon the work of God’s grace and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is as essential to the Great Commission today as it was in the first century. God desires to baptize missionary candidates and fully prepare them for service.
We pray the Lord of the harvest will send forth laborers, and we continue to partner with the Holy Spirit as He sovereignly brings men and women to a realization of their purpose in life. It never fails that when God speaks to a missionary candidate’s heart, He confirms His leading by granting divine guidance within the AGWM Executive Committee, divine provision within the churches of our Fellowship, and a divine harvest around the world.
RICK JOHNSON is director of AGWM Personnel and Member Care.
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