Missionary Service


Thank you for your interest in missionary service and Reach International Ministries (REACH) in particular. We always appreciate hearing from folks with a heart for getting the gospel to closed and gospel resistant countries and the regions beyond.

This is to give you some general information about who we are and what we do. Of course, the degree of information and involvement on our part depends on where one goes and what their ministry is. Until we know that about a potential candidate, we like to lay out some general non-specific information for you first. After reading over this, if you would like to know more or perhaps even apply for missionary service with Reach, we invite you to contact Hugh Taylor by email (HughTaylor@reachmyworld.com) or phone (989-687-6999). Hugh is the Lifeline Director for Reach and he works with our contacts and candidates.

So, let's give you some general information about opportunities for missionary service and how we work in support of them.

We are a relatively new mission board (founded in 2003 and originally named Asia Reach Ministries), with abundant opportunities for pioneering-minded folks. We "specialize" in helping missionaries get into and minister in countries normally "closed" or restricted such that missionaries can't openly enter as missionaries. In those countries "closed" to missionaries, our mission work is "undercover", so to speak, with our folks serving officially and ostensibly in other capacities than missionaries -- such as conversational English teachers, humanitarian workers, and businessmen. We are training foreign national believers to reach and minister to their people as well as going to locations that are "foreign" to them. Our goal is to do this around the world.

Here are the main factors we go by in dealing with prospective missionaries:

  1. We seek to determine that they are saved, surrendered and in agreement with us doctrinally.
  2. We look to ascertain their sense of the Lord's leading as to field and ministry.
  3. We ask for the pastor's perspective on the prospect's suitability for his and the church's endorsement.
  4. We look to the prospect's education and experience, both secular and spiritual, for indications of suitability for the ministry - again, depending on the field and ministry of interest. We require that the prospect have a verifiable working knowledge of the Bible and the ministry. Formal Bible college or institute training are not required in all cases, but the pastor's affirmation of the prospect's Bible and ministry knowledge would be required in those cases where the candidate did not have or need formal training.
  5. We ask for references, including pastor and employer, to assess the prospect's character and testimony.
  6. We consider any health or financial factors that would prevent or seriously inhibit foreign service.

At some point in the process just described, we send the prospect our Preliminary Application to fill out and return to us. It asks for most of the information we need in working with the prospect. Later, as things progress, we will send our Formal Application package for the prospect to provide appropriate medical and financial information and to get the personal reference assessments. Depending on the field and ministry, a resume' might be required in order to arrange placement in the country.

Here's some of what we do to assist the prospect/candidate:

  1. Help with gaining knowledge of the field.
    • If we have someone on the field of the prospect's interest, we arrange contact for first-hand information about service in that field.
    • We recommend reading and study on the field of interest.
    • If desired by the prospect, we help arrange and even accompany the prospect on a short term/survey trip. This survey trip is a component of our training program. (See the Missionary Training page/section.)
  2. Help in training for the mission ministry in particular. Our Missionary Training Program consists of four main phases, ranging from initial candidate training to ongoing professional training. (See the Missionary Training page/section.)
  3. Help the missionary with financial management, as desired or needed by the missionary. Our Lifeline Ministry Office is located in Sanford, Michigan. This is a smooth, efficient, and meticulous operation - at the very least, we are honest in our handling of missions money. Our Lifeline Ministry also allows support funds to be collected and forwarded to our missionaries in a safe, reliable manner that helps conceal their ministry status from any inquiring foreign officials. We provide this service at no charge to the missionaries: no membership dues, transaction fees, or assessments. This service is optional to all missionaries. If they would rather have their funds go through other channels, such as their home church, that's fine as long as it suits the missionary and meets their needs for secure and reliable funds management. However, we have some financial and medical policies that must either be complied with or expressly exempted by the sending pastor's statement. We provide those policies to the missionary during the application process. We also have administrative and procedural policies for the Lifeline Ministry's interactions with and for the missionaries and supporters. We provide these policies during the application and training process.
  4. Help the missionary get matched up with and placed in a suitable location. We do what we can to help the first-term missionary in getting into their target country initially and "learning the ropes". This includes assistance in writing and submitting any required resume' or other documentation as appropriate to the missionary. Where and when we can, we'll pair up or co-locate the new missionary with one or more of our veterans already on the field. The veteran and newcomer mutually determine and agree upon the degree and duration of the working relationship. As the newcomers get acclimated and experienced, they are free to make full proof of their own ministry in their own way as the Lord leads and enables.
  5. Provide ongoing encouragement and help as needed and possible to the missionary on the field. This includes routine correspondence by e-mail or snail mail and occasional visits by our Executive Leadership Team members, such as our Lifeline Director. We also encourage sending and supporting pastors to visit and encourage the missionary on the field. We help and accompany them when and where we can.
  6. Provide liaison services between the missionaries and supporting or prospectively supporting churches and individuals. Sometimes churches and individuals have difficulty communicating directly with missionaries on the foreign field, especially in closed countries where communication security is a concern. We serve as a go-between in facilitating those communications.

Assuming God is calling you into foreign missions work, the tough decisions ahead for you include how, where and when you will serve. If you have a desire to go where the people have not even heard of Jesus Christ, you should consider a "closed" country, such as China. While China is still "closed" to missionaries, one can still enter the country in other ways and spread the gospel to those who have not heard. The most common and "easy" ways of gaining access is as a conversational English teacher. The Chinese have what seems to be an insatiable desire to learn conversational English and computer skills, but that desire and opportunity also exists in most non-English-speaking countries. We have missionary families in China who either taught or are teaching conversational English as their means of conducting their ministry there. There are other ways of gaining access as a long-term "cover" for being in China or other "closed" countries, depending on your qualifications and interests, but we can discuss those with you later. Soul winning and discipleship are the main ministering abilities needed in closed countries.

A word to single ladies: Certainly, the conversational English teacher route is a primary means for you to gain access to various countries, but that is not the only way. You can certainly be a valuable co-worker and team member with one or more of our missionary families. As a single lady, your primary areas of personal ministry would be to other ladies and children. However, working in tandem with a missionary family would open other ministry opportunities such as in technical or administrative roles.

We recommend that you pray and personally research potential fields of service, keeping your heart open to the Lord's nurturing an interest in or desire for a particular people or place.

To gain a better idea of our philosophy and stand, please read over our Statements of Meaning, found elsewhere on our site. Short term personnel do not have to agree on every specific detail. Some can serve medical or technical needs and not be involved in direct ministry work. We respect others' rights to differ. However, long term commitment or specific ministry work requires acceptance of our doctrinal statement.

Again, please let us know if you have any specific questions regarding any of this or anything else, for that matter, relating to missionary service. Our desire and prayer is that the Lord will bless and guide you in making full proof of your ministry.

Please visit the Contact REACH section of our web site if you have further questions.