The happiest time of the year At long last, it’s the most wonderful time o...
By Jen Haddox, Director of ECO Global Engagement
God calls people to engage in his mission in a variety of ways, but one key way is through
personal, transformative experience in mission. Research shows that significant mission
experience leads to more dedicated prayer for the world, increased giving towards global
mission, deeper commitment to local mission engagement, and is a key pathway for people to
experience a call to long-term mission service. These are the kinds of commitments we want to
see develop among the people in our churches!
In the summer of 2023 ECO Global Engagement is piloting a Summer Mission Mentorship
Program to provide a unique pathway for our young adults (minimum age 19) to have a
significant mission experience as part of their vocational & discipleship journey. We will match
young adults to serve alongside experienced missionaries or global church leaders whom we
know and trust through our mission partner organizations, The Antioch Partners, Frontier
Fellowship, and The Outreach Foundation.
The plan is for ECO churches to recruit young adults, and then ECO Global Engagement will
match them with a global mission mentor site. We’ll provide excellent pre-trip preparation, which
will include a pre-trip intensive training retreat for all the mentees. After spending June and July
being mentored and serving on the mission field, they’ll all gather for several days of debriefing
and be matched with a follow-up coach to check in with them through the Fall. Our goal is to
send 6-8 young adults in the summer of 2023 as we pilot this program.
How are ECO churches involved?
- Identify potential candidates for this program and refer them to the application process.
- Encourage those who are accepted into the program with prayer and moral support as they raise funds and prepare for the summer in mission.
- Give a significant starting gift to fund their experience, we recommend up to 50% of the cost.
- Commission the intern during Sunday worship, and invite the whole congregation to
- send them with prayers and support.
- Receive them back after their mentorship to share their mission experience with the church.
How are partner organizations involved?
- Identifying mission site mentors who can receive young adults and walk alongside them.
- Helping establish the trip cost to cover travel, per diem, and ministry expenses.
- Collaborating for the pre-trip training by providing teaching and field expertise
How are field site mentors involved?
- Providing meaningful ministry opportunities for summer interns
- Setting up room and board
- Weekly mentor conversations and prayer time with interns
How is ECO global engagement involved?
- Collaborating with mission partner organizations to develop mission mentorship sites
- Equipping mission field mentors to provide quality mentorship experiences
- Discerning with young adults who inquire about the program, and shepherding the through the application and matching process
- Directing the program from start-to-finish, keeping all the partners, mentors, and young adults moving through the mentorship program
What is the value?
- Young adults will gain tremendous life and faith growth opportunities through serving and learning on the mission field, with the bonus opportunity of academic credit through the Flourish Institute of Theology or their own academic program.
- ECO churches will be enlivened by the experience of sending one of their own young people into mission
- Missionaries will receive the added energy and encouragement of gaining an intern for the summer
- God will receive glory for our commitment to join him as we live out our calling to make disciples of all nations.