Preparing Workers Through Coaching

by Koleen M. French, Appointee Coach, World Team USA Sending Centre

A core value of World Team is training and releasing leaders. This training begins the moment someone is accepted into World Team as an appointee—a member of World Team who is preparing for full-time service.

World Team’s appointee program capitalizes on best practices from the mission’s 150 years of preparing workers for service.1 This includes:

  • A “Vision Trip” to an allocation of primary interest.
  • Mentoring by someone the appointee knows.
  • A solid grounding in Bible knowledge, the mission task, and basic principles of missiology. This grounding is customized based on the appointee’s background to cultivate another World Team value of being a lifelong learner.
  • Assembling a “Home” or “Go” Team for regular times of prayer and encouragement.
  • Developing skills in writing updates, public speaking, and friendship-building through raising up prayer partners and 100% of one’s financial need.
  • A one-month-long intense, in-person and in-community training for cross-cultural workers. This training is run by other groups (JAARS, Center for Intercultural Training, Missionary Training International) who have honed their programs over many decades.

All this preparation takes around 18 to 24 months, assuming people are working full-time elsewhere. During this time, an appointee will assuredly grow in what World Team calls “the 4 C’s” — calling, character, chemistry, and competence. Like any period of intense spiritual and personal growth, an appointee can encounter some hard bumps. But God’s grace is always abundant. Even impacted by the COVID years, World Team appointees eventually reached their areas of service. In a crucible of formation for a unique life pathway, appointees are urged and trained to pray for various mission fields and missionaries.

Combining a commitment to training and releasing leaders and to caring for its members, World Team provides an appointee coach. Benefits of coaching include:

  • Meeting twice a month on a personal, one-on-one Zoom call.
  • Setting up an achievable, customized schedule of tasks to address.
  • Adjusting priorities to accommodate life events (moving, a new baby, a family death, etc.).
  • Talking and praying through various challenges, especially during partnership development, i.e., raising up prayer and financial partners. Partnership development is typically the longest phase of the appointee period.
  • Providing accountability and encouragement throughout the appointee journey.

New World Team members preparing for full-time service find a wonderful promise in Hebrews 13:20-21: ”Now may the God of peace …. equip you with everything good for doing his will.”

World Team, through its appointee process, helps people who are called to full-time service to be equipped for doing his will2. Ultimately, it is God who will accomplish his purposes in us all. ”The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” (1 Thess 5:24)

Points to Think and Talk About
  • Have you been coached or mentored in any area of your life before (e.g., sports, your career)? If so, what was the experience like?
  • What kind of training do you think a future missionary needs?
  • What are your concerns or questions as you prepare yourself to become a full-time missionary?
Endnotes / Suggestions for Further Reading

1 See also World Team’s process that highlights the appointee journey, pre-field training, and the pre-field office visit.

2 Helpful resources to prepare for your journey include books like: Rafielle Usher, Missionary Training Guide (Jacksonville, FL: O.M.I International, 2011) and Rob Parker, Partnership Development for the Fully Funded Missionary: Training Manual (Independently published, 2023).