(Though the list below may be daunting, GoTential has a step by step discipleship course online to prepare and equip you for all of these things!)
- Relationship with God. Everything flows from the quality of your relationship with God. How are you doing at being filled and renewed daily through time alone with God in devotional reading and prayer.
- Relationship with family. You will face great stress in a new culture. Work proactively on your family life: read, attend seminars, and seek counsel from sharp, godly couples. How healthy is your marriage and family and how well prepared are you for the stress of cross-cultural work and witness?
- Relationship with work. Work is central to human beings created in the image of God. God is the great worker and we were designed to be co-workers with him and rulers under him to manage and care for the world. Thus legitimate work in itself is meant to be a sacred, God-honoring activity through which we “feel God’s pleasure.” We are called to honor Christ through our servanthood toward employers, customers, co-workers, and the larger community. Excellence, ethical integrity, genuine caring, Kingdom values, and natural, meaningful witness should mark us as Christians. We should also be engaging and impacting the thought world of our vocation. How well do we understand all aspects of honoring Christ in work and how well do we practice them?
- Relationships with others. Team building and conflict resolution skills help work together, overcome disunity, and put common goals first. How much of a team player are you? How well do you do conflict resolution and ongoing cooperation?
- Bible knowledge. How would you summarize the whole Bible in a few sentences? How many books of the Bible can you summarize? What O.T. prophecies about Jesus were fulfilled in the N.T.?
- Bible memorization is a good way to have your sword always ready. Then the Holy Spirit can help you recall them at crucial moments and locate them in your foreign language Bible.
- Inductive Bible study skills observe what the passage really says and interpret what the writer meant with application for today. How effective are you in Bible study, especially in discovering what the writer is doing in a passage?
- Leading inductive Bible study discussions, whether evangelistic or discipleship. Ask questions to help participants discover and draw conclusions from the details. Adapt your leadership to nonbelievers. How effectively can you lead a group to discover the message of a text versus telling them what it says? And how well do you lead a group to respond to and act on the truth?
- Evangelism–learn to fish. Tentmakers answer questions about God from seekers made hungry for God by observing Christians around them—their integrity, quality work, caring relationships and words about God. How effective are you in the workplace? In each of these areas?
- Investigative Bible studies for nonbelievers are discussions of Gospel narratives. Participants answer questions about the text. They discover who Jesus really is and commit themselves to him. How effectively can you lead a group to discover the truth of a passage for themselves without telling them what it says? How effective are you in understanding the author’s purpose in a text and in preparing questions to lead people through a text?
- Christian doctrine. Learn the main Christian doctrines as propositions with supporting passages. What would you include in a half-hour talk about God? Or justification by faith? Or the incarnation of Jesus?
- Defending the faith when your Christian beliefs are challenged. How do you answer that there is no God? Or there are 33 million of them? That all religions are basically the same? That the Bible is not true?
- Church-planting and other ministries. Self-reproducing, indigenous churches are the ultimate goal. How ready are you to start one? To lead people to Christ and disciple them in a group and coach them into becoming a church which is led by the local people from the outset? What do you know about baptism, communion, church leadership? Can you preach, teach children, or sing?
- Spiritual warfare. Sin and temptation assault us also through the evil world system and our own sinful vulnerability. We must put on the full armor of God. How prepared are you to maintain your focus and spiritual vitality in an alien culture, with minimal support, and many pressures?
- Missions training including the biblical basis of missions, its history, geography, growth, trends, issues, strategies, mistakes to avoid, current ideas, cross-cultural living and witness.
©2013, 2000 Global Opportunities, GoTential has adapted the above information with permission from Ruth E. Siemens & Dave English.