Are you a young Christian looking for a missionary opportunity? Maybe you’re a well-experienced missionary trying to expand their horizons and in search of a new mission?
Missionary opportunities may seem hard to find, but there are plenty of resources available to help you get started. The first place to look is your local church.
Many churches still sponsor missionaries in both domestic and international locations. If your church doesn’t sponsor their own missionaries, they might support a missionary organization.
Historically, missionaries typically worked on their own with the support of their church family, however, now there are many organizations who hire missionary positions for development projects all over the world
Some programs are specialized for young people with little experience and others are positions for missionary families who have lived their faith for decades. In the sections below I’ll share what to be aware of when you’re looking for missionary opportunities.
Considerations When Looking For Missionary Opportunities
First, let’s take a look at what you should know before you begin your search for missionary opportunities. You should have an idea of what you want in a missionary opportunity (read how to become a missionary).
- Getting started? Look locally first and inquire with youth missions!
- Will you be self-funded (through church, friends, and family)? If so, you need to talk with your church family to get started.
- Will you need an education first? Many missionaries have completed seminary or other technical degrees that they use to combine work and missions.
- If you have a technical degree, consider working as a missionary as a “development professional”. I’ll share a few organizations below.
- Long-term missions or short-term?
- Domestic or abroad?
- Full-time or part-time or volunteer?
- Language requirements
- Your health (will it be safe for you to live in a location with poor healthcare?)
- Visa issues and/or work permits (this is country-specific)
Once you’ve thought about these important considerations, then you can start your search.
13 Great Places To Find Missionary Opportunities
1. At Your Church
As I’ve already mentioned above, the best place to begin your search for missionary opportunities is with your local church. Many churches sponsor missionaries and they can be a great resource to learn about the field (read my prayers for missionaries).
Ask your church leadership if you can get involved in their missions program. You could be a part of the planning and prayer committees. This will help you learn about the missionary process and it might lead to opportunities.
Most people picture missionary opportunities in far-away places but new missionaries can get involved in their own communities. This is a great way to start a career as a missionary.
2. Youth with a Mission (YWAM)
YWAM is a great organization for young people and it’s big, so there are plenty of opportunities for new missionaries. The organization has been around since 1960 so it’s a tried and true way to get into mission work.
To work with YWAM you’ll need to complete their Discipleship Training School, which is a six month training program that prepares you for mission work. Once you complete the training (which does have a fee), you can use the training to find missionary opporutinites with YWAM or look into opportunities with other organizations.
The great thing about YWAM’s Discipleship Training School is that it could count towards university credit!
Check out YWAM at ywam.org
Team represents a global alliance of churches and missionaries. The organization has been around for over 100 years and got it’s start in China in the 1800’s.
Since then, the organization has expanded throughout the globe where it shares opportunities on every continent.
Explore their job board and you’ll find plenty of missionary opportunities. Many openings are in challenging environments working with unique cultures and foreign languages.
Team has many great jobs for experienced missionaries! Check out team.org
4. Abwe International
Abwe is a great resource for new and experienced missionaries. They offer volunteer, short-term, mid-term, long-term options to serve.
In addition to training opportunities, Abwe missionaries work in theology, evangelism, and church-planting around the world.
Many churches around the world provide support to Abwe, which can expand your opportunities above and beyond home-church support.
Whether it’s church planting, management positions, internships, or healthcare, Abwe offers plenty of opportunities to begin or continue a career in missions. Check them out at abwe.org.
5. Mission Finder
Mission Finder is basically a job board for missionaries. Visit their website to browse mission opportunities from 100’s of churches and organizations.
A few of the opportunities include church planting, marketing, travel coordinator, teachers, and student leaders.
The positions range from short-term and unpaid, to paid (living allowance and stipend) and long term. New missionaries should be able to find an opportunity to get started in missions on Mission Finder!
6. Accord Network
The Accord Network is another useful job board aimed at sharing job opportunities in missions. Many of the job postings are for well-respected international organizations and their positions usually require technical experience and education.
World Vision, HOPE international, Mennonite Central Committee, and World Renew all post opportunities through the Accord Network. Note that these organizations are usually very competitive and they are not primarily missionary positions.
They are technical positions that require faith.
7. Mennonite Central Committee
Mennonite Central is a lesser-known organization but they do big things internationally? If you’ve worked in the mission field you may have run into someone working with MCC.
They are active in some of the most rural parts of the world. You’ll find them in the U.S., in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. They help with teaching, agriculture, health, and humanitarian aid.
They also have a SALT Program (Serving and Learning Together) where people from all ages can work in another culture. The SALT program is self-funded but it’s a great way to get early experience in mission-type work.
8. Partners Worldwide
Compared to many other resources on this list, Partners Worldwide is a newcomer to international missions. Although they aren’t specifically missionaries, the organization promotes faith through their projects, both internationally and domestically.
The organization offers job and volunteer positions. The volunteer positions are great for recent university graduates who have a calling to work with those less fortunate.
More experienced missionaries might find a few paid opportunities to work in a technical field and share the gospel. Check the out at partnersworldwide.org
9. Samaritan’s Purse
Samaritan’s Purse is a well-established organization that provides humanitarian relief and development worldwide. They are well known in the mission’s field and in development.
Unlike many development organizations, Samaritan’s Purse requires a statement of faith and they conduct their job interviews with faith in mind.
If you are interested in missions and you can get your foot in the door with SP, then you can get some good experience to learn about missions and development.
On their website, SP’s mission statement focuses on spiritual and physical aid. They specialize in reaching people affected by famine, disaster, and disease, and therefore work in difficult environments. Check out SP at samaritanspurse.org
10. Plant with Purpose
Have a background in agriculture or do you love the environment? Plant with Purpose isn’t specifically a missionary organization, but they are faith-based and expect their employees to share those values.
There are occasionally volunteer positions available in the San Diego area and internationally. Check them out and gain some experience working with people from other cultures and countries (plantwithpurpose.org)
11. World Concern
World Concern is another development organization with strong Christian values. There are specific jobs in disaster response, food security, health, and general development and education.
Some of the positions offered internationally are volunteer positions and self-funded while other, usually management positions, are paid. If you’re in the Seattle area consider paying them a visit to see if you can help out domestically.
World Concern works with countries all over the world and is always looking for good people. Seasoned missionaries and volunteers can put their skills to work with WC.
MedAir is yet another humanitarian organization that offers paid positions. Salaries are modest and the positions should be viewed as an opportunity to serve others.
Based out of Switzerland, they have been a staple of international assistance for decades. They work in more than 11 countries with extreme need and help those struggling the most from disaster, conflict, and famine.
MedAir shares several types of positions on their website and most have 2 year commitments. Positions include finance, information technology, logistics, water, health, security, and education.
This is a big organization and a way for missionaries to be a part of a team. Read more about their mission at medair.org
13. Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF)
Mission Aviation Fellowship has been around a long time! In 1933 the first MAF aircraft was purchased with the goal of helping people in remote areas.
Early missions took place in Mexico. MAF ventured further in Latin America to Ecuador in South America.
These days, MAW works all over the world in some of the most remote locations on Earth. Whether it be surveying in New Guinea or working alongside villages in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo), the organization has a reputation for doing God’s work and helping people in need.
You don’t have to be a pilot to help MAF. There are career positions and volunteer positions in Nampa, Idaho, where it’s headquartered. Service positions are available domestically and internationally at various locations. Here is a link to the MAF website – be sure to check out their mission opportunities at the bottom of the page.
Starting a career as a missionary isn’t difficult but it will take some basic knowledge and experience.
You’ll want to make sure your faith is strong enough where you can effectively help others. For many people, this means a degree or technical training in for mission work.
To start, the best place to look for missionary opportunities is locally, with your church and with missionaries in your community. Even though most people associate missionaries with living in a foreign country, there are many missionaries who work in their hometowns and with underserved communities.
If you are aiming to go international, check out the job boards I’ve shared. There are plenty of opportunities for international work and they cater to new and experienced missionaries.
There are also plenty of faith-based organizations that provide humanitarian assistance with a faith-based approach.
Of course, there are also traditional avenues for missionaries that raise their own funding through their church and work outside of an organization (although it’s becoming less common).
I hope this list puts you on the right track for missionary opportunities. There are so many great programs out there and you just have to find your calling.