Missions Pastor Profile

There is more to hiring a missions pastor than finding someone who is enthusiastic about missions. As with any important position, there are important questions to ask and answer.

What are the primary functions you want performed? Four major possibilities are:

  1. Pastor missionaries and mentor potential missionaries.
  2. Conduct the finances and administration of the missions ministry.
  3. Promote missions vision and educate the congregation in missions.
  4. Develop and oversee the short-term missions program.

What are the candidate’s primary passions?

Our community?, same culture?, cross-culture?, a particular country or people or region?, global?, spiritual needs (salvation and the Gospel)?, social needs (helping the needy)?, holistic ministry?, doing ministry?, influencing others to do ministry?, organizing others to do ministry?

The following chart illustrates likely strengths of missions pastors of different personality types and interests.

The activities listed in each quadrant are those the individual is likely to gravitate to and do well. The upper quadrants represent an individual whose primary interest is what happens on the mission field and the lower quadrants represent an individual whose primary interest is in mobilizing the church.

The left quadrants represent someone who is more relational in approach and the right quadrants represent someone who is more task and detail oriented.

Field Focused (Deployment) Relational
(People Oriented) Administrator
(Task Oriented)
Relational (People Oriented):
  • Take a personal interest in missionaries and care for them
  • Spend time with missionaries home from the field
  • Counsel missionaries
  • Go on mission trips
  • Meet mission organization reps
  • Maintain contact with mission organizations
  • Mentor missionary candidates
Administrator (Task Oriented):
  • Organize mission trips
  • Develop missions strategy and goals
  • Evaluate mission efforts abroad
  • Oversee implementation of plans
  • Maintain records, field reports, etc.
  • Establish a missionary compensation system
  • Keep up with mission trends
Church Focused (Mobilization)
Relational (People Oriented):
  • Represent missions from pulpit
  • Influence church leaders for missions
  • Build missions interest in individuals
  • Teach missions
  • Mentor leaders of short term trips
  • Develop individual leaders
  • Help returning missionaries assimilate into the congregation
Administrator (Task Oriented):
  • Build a missions philosophy
  • Organize missions committee
  • Develop mobilization strategies
  • Develop prayer and support teams
  • Organize missions conferences and promotional events
  • Develop a missions education system
  • Develop a candidate training program
Church Focused (Mobilization)

Be sure to hire a person with the aptitude and inclination to conduct the kinds of work you most need done. At the same time be sure to assist the person in the other categories with staff or lay support.

Source: Stuff III - Still More Stuff you need to know about Doing Missions in Your Church, David Mays, p. 10