We have found and research shows that missionary training is most effective when it is done in the context of a missional community. Doing missionary training in a group allows for more spiritual growth as everyone shares what they are learning and brings more experience and insights to the class. It also provides more accountability as people can spur one another to finish assignments and a better chance of applying all the principles as people go on mission together and put into practice what they are learning through the classes. That is why our first preference for people to be equipped would be for students to come to one of our in-person missionary training schools to learn from veteran missionaries that have been serving cross-culturally for many years.
However, since not everyone can drop everything to come to one of our existing locations. We want to make it possible for people to start missionary training schools in new locations. Our online missionary training school is completely flexible and can be used in many different contexts. A team that knows they are heading to the mission field together could dedicate themselves exclusively for five months to a year to go through the online missionary training school together as they are all raising support. Teams that have just come together on the mission field would gain a lot by going through this training (or at least certain modules) so that they are using the same vocabulary, can work through team dynamics, develop a philosophy of ministry, etc. An existing missions organization could use the curriculum to train their staff that are serving cross-culturally. A small group or missional community from a church could go through the program over the course of one to three years depending on how often they wanted to meet. It is a great “next steps” tool for those that have gone through the Perspectives in the World Christian Movement course and want to continue getting equipped to pray, give, go, or welcome.
We are so dedicated to people going through this program in groups that we will give a 20% discount to any groups of five or more that will go through the entire 20 module program together. One person in the group needs to be designated as the leader and we will provide instruction, coaching, encouragement, and direction via phone, email, and skype throughout the process. The leader has the freedom to design the structure of the program and supplement their own materials as well. It is user friendly and very flexible! You decide: Will the group meet every day and go through parts of the curriculum as a team? Will each person watch videos and do assignments on their own and then come together once a week to share what they are learning? Will you compliment the material with some times of prayer, worship, Bible study, accountability, etc.? Will each person do individual ministry out in the community or will you go out two by two or as a group to complete your service hours?
We hope that some of these satellite sites for the missionary training school may develop into entire future GFM locations in new cities. Contact us if you have more questions about starting a new missionary training school.