Signing up as missionaries: applying
Tamie and I have been seeking appointment by a missions organisation called CMS Australia. For us, this is the equivalent of ordination, as I mentioned in 2009. We’re currently in the thick of the CMS application process!
The CMS application process is as long as it needs to be — anywhere from several months to several years. In our case, it will have taken around 6 months by the time it wraps up in February. We’ve been on our way overseas since 2003, and have been involved with CMS for years, so we already had a good relationship with CMS before we began the process.
It has several purposes:
- It is an assessment process, to examine whether we are fit to serve with CMS.
- It is a preparation process, for CMS to equip us, and for us to continue training for ministry ourselves.
- It is a discernment process, for CMS and us to get to know each other and see if we fit together.
In other words, it’s not an interrogation but a way of exploring a partnership and together seeing what might come of that.
It’s a detailed and thorough process. This is partly because CMS has a commitment to sending the right people — one of the CMS principles is, ‘Under God, all will depend on the type of people sent out’. But it’s also because, by knowing its missionaries inside and out, CMS will be able to provide them with great support for many years into the future.
So far, each of us has completed:
- 1 expression of interest;
- 1 application form, including
- Questions about our backgrounds, relationships with others, and our Christian experience, service, and understanding;
- 5 Christian referees to reflect on our lives, plus work referees;
- 1 ‘Screening and Lifestyle Questionnaire’ and interview, to gauge our past and present experiences and habits, plus a Federal Police Check;
- 1 interview together, to gauge how we interact as a couple;
- 2 individual interviews, to gauge our spiritual wellbeing and how well we respond to adversity;
- 1 psychological profile, to assess our mental fitness, including inventories of personality and coping skills;
- 1 medical checkup, to assess our physical fitness.
Things still to come include:
- The Branch Candidates Committee meeting. This is the final state-level interview, in which CMS South Australia decides whether to endorse us as their people.
- The Federal Candidates Committee meeting. This national-level interview is a final consideration of where we will go and what we will do.
- The 6 month CMS training course at St Andrew’s Hall.
You can find an outline of the entire process at the CMS website.