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How Much Training Is Enough?

missionary teaching Bible to a small group of men in a hut

Being a pastor isn’t easy.

So it makes sense that many pastoral positions require a master of divinity degree, which takes two to four years of study after a four-year degree. Yet people are often surprised that Ethnos’ missionary training takes so long — two to four years.
Consider this:

  • A pastor works with an existing church. A missionary establishes a church from scratch and nurtures it to maturity.
  • A pastor works among people with the same worldview and outlook as his. A missionary invests time to study and comprehend an utterly foreign way of thinking.
  • A pastor does not need to learn another language to speak to his flock. A missionary must learn a language that few outside the people group know — then has to figure out how to write it down and teach people to read it.
  • A pastor’s flock has access to a variety of study tools and a multitude of Bible versions. A missionary must translate the Bible.

This by no means sums up a pastor’s work. However, it demonstrates that being a missionary is demanding, complex work that requires proper preparation.
If anything, this comparison raises the question, “Why is Ethnos’ training so short?” If the task is so complex, how can two to four years suffice?
There are two simple answers to that.

First, the training is specialised. Ethnos Canada is not training people for a wide variety of possible different ministries. The training focuses on the specific skills missionaries need for cross-cultural church planting among people groups with little or no access to the gospel.

Second, the training isn’t complete after classes are done. When a missionary arrives overseas, they’re served by a team of experienced Ethnos specialists. These specialists assist and train the missionaries as they grasp a culture, learn an unwritten language and formulate a writing system for it, translate the Bible, disciple people, train leaders and more.

Are you interested in establishing maturing churches among people groups with little or no access to the gospel? Do you know someone who is interested? Find out how you can be well prepared to do that with Ethnos’ specialized training.

EBI: Two years studying all 66 books of the Bible chronologically with a missions emphasis.

Emanate: Two years preparing for cross-cultural ministry, including culture analysis, language learning and Bible translation [People with a Bible education can go directly into the Missionary Training Centre, but in many cases are encouraged to consider EBI for a thorough grounding in God’s Word.]

Posted in NTM@work March 2014