Is God calling you to be a missionary?
We are issuing a call to the Church in Dallas to join us in praying for and identifying 15 individuals or families in their congregations who are prepared to give their lives in the service of Christ for the people of the inner-city of Dallas. Take a moment to read about the call, what it means to be an urban missionary, and a few FAQ's.
Want to know more? Great! Click here to contact Josh Conner, BridgeBuilders' Director of MISSIONS.
BridgeBuilders is leading the fight to make poverty history in our city. Utilizing the “newly ancient” approach of planting missionaries in impoverished communities, we are seeing men, women, and children believing in the gospel, gathering together in Christian communities, and learning how to think about the world through the lens of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Happening simultaneously, BridgeBuilders is empowering these neighbors overcome the real and challenging material barriers that prevent them from fully flourishing as God intends.
The Lord is doing an incredible work to create flourishing persons, families and communities throughout South Dallas. But there is still more work to be done. Jesus calls us to pray to the Father to send more laborers into the harvest (Luke 10:2). He has spent years preparing the soil and South Dallas, while a hard field, is ready for laborers to enter the harvest.
Therefore, with complete reliance upon the Lord, we are issuing a call to the Church in Dallas to join us in praying for and identifying 15 individuals or families in their congregations who are prepared to give their lives in the service of Christ for the people of the inner-city, to hear the good news and experience freedom and flourishing where bondage has been the norm for generations. We do not have all the answers. We do not have all the bugs worked out. But we do know from 20 years of experience sharing the gospel in the inner-city that the only hope these communities have of truly hearing the gospel and breaking the cycle of poverty is for real Christians to live among them, proclaiming and demonstrating that living according to God’s design is a life of wholeness, peace, joy, and adventure.
What is an urban missionary?
The urban missionary’s task is to engage and lead non-believers into a saving relationship with Christ. The missionary will actively disciple new believers and equip them to reach their relational networks with the gospel. New believers will be connected to a local church or the missionary will work to form Christian communities with the potential to form into church plants in the more remote neighborhoods where no healthy local churches currently exist.
Urban Missionary Qualifications
• Transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ and growing close in relationship with Him.
• Pursing personal holiness through regular personal time with God and practicing the spiritual disciplines.
• Committed to Scripture as the infallible Word of God, authoritative for all of life.
• Committed to the local church and an active participant/member in one.
• Able to clearly articulate God's leading to the mission field.
• Prove your church’s support of your call to missions.
• Experienced in sharing the faith in a clear, concise manner.
• Experienced in discipling believers.
• Biblically/Theological learned.
• Experience in cross-cultural environments.
• Ability to learn and adapt to new cultures and environments.
Urban Missionary Responsibilities
• Working in areas of lostness to identify People and Houses of Peace and lead them to faith.
• Working neighborhoods door-to-door to care for the community and pray.
• Gather and disciple new believers.
• Actively model evangelism & discipleship for other Christians.
• Host regular gatherings in your neighborhood to foster community.
• Regularly report on progress of your mission and ministry.
• Develop and maintain network of ministry development partners for fundraising and prayer.
Q: How do I know if I’m being led into becoming a missionary?
A: Being led into missionary work is unique in each person’s story. For some, being led is a strong, Spirit-driven urge towards a certain mission field or people group. For others, God’s leading is simply the affirmation of the place they find themselves in coupled with the gifts that make them suited for that place and time. What is not unique is the church’s role in commissioning the missionary. If you feel a leading towards becoming a missionary, your church must affirm that leading through commissioning you. This process is simply ascertaining whether or not the church, through the Spirit’s guidance, believes that you are ready to serve and formally setting you apart for the work of missions.
Q: Do I have to raise my own support?
A: Yes, all of our missionaries are required to raise their own support. Each missionary who passes into the candidate phase will be trained by our development team on how to find, win, and sustain new ministry partners to come alongside them.
Q: How much will I be paid? Will I receive any benefits?
A: Our missionaries' salaries will be based upon need. We take into account age, family size, location, and tenure to come to a final salary number. We seek for our missionaries to live a moderate lifestyle, have longevity in their missionary endeavor, and allow missionaries freedom. You will also receive healthcare plan reimbursements for your choice of health insurance, a basic life insurance policy, and paid vacation and holiday time.
Q: Do I have to live in South Dallas to be an urban missionary?
A: Yes. Currently, the needs of the community call for an incarnational presence. Moving into the communities sets you up like a lighthouse to your neighbors. This “attractional” component is critical for building relationships with gatekeepers and influencers in the neighborhood. We have seen this strategy work numerous times and we believe that it is the best method to reach the most people with gospel of Jesus Christ. If you have a heart for missions but are unable to move into the community, please initiate a conversation with us. There are many ways to serve alongside our missions teams without having to move into the community.
Q: What kind of resources will be available to me as an urban missionary at BridgeBuilders?
A: Missions to the urban poor provide unique and complex challenges that BridgeBuilders has adapted to in our 20 year journey. While we are adamant that true flourishing only comes through a relationship with Christ, we also work towards alleviating the material conditions that inhibit flourishing. All of our resources are geared around holistic gospel transformation. From urban missionaries who proclaim the gospel door-to-door, to our WORK program that helps overcome the many barriers that prevent flourishing, and KIDS programs working to preempt the relational damage that can come.
Q: Evangelism is not my strong suit. Is there still a place for me as an urban missionary?
A: Being a missionary means you are an evangelist. If proclaiming the gospel is a challenge for you, missionary work might not be a role God is calling you to. However, many times, God gives us strength in areas where we are most weak and uncomfortable. Feeling God’s pull towards missions even though you are weak at evangelism? Get out and try it! It might not be as hard or uncomfortable as you might think.
Q: What kind of work does an urban missionary do?
A: Urban missionaries are the tip of the spear in proclaiming the good news of Jesus to the communities that we serve. The ultimate goal of the missionary is proclaiming the gospel and creating Christian communities from those who are saved out of the mission field. Day-to-day, missionaries are going door to door to care for their neighbors. As Christ-followers, we believe that the best way we can care for our neighbors is by praying with them and proclaiming the gospel to them. These conversations lead to further gospel conversations and discipleship relationships. As we hear about specific needs, we mobilize our WORK and KIDS programs, as well as our local church partners, who might have the resource to help a neighbor in need.
Q: What does a day in the life look like?
8:30-9:30am - Personal Study Time
9:30-11:00am - Admin Time: schedule meetings with donors, report encounters in the harvest, set follow-ups with neighbors, weekly seminary-level courses
11:00am-1:00pm - Lunch, discipleship time, open gyms
1:00-3:00pm - Harvest time: door-to-door caring, follow-ups, discipleship, Bible study time
3:00-4:30pm - Serve at KIDS program
4:30pm - Go home and rest!
Q: What role does my home church play in sending me as a missionary?
The local church plays a vital role in the sending and support of the missionary. First and foremost, the local church is instrumental in identifying and commissioning missionaries to send into the harvest (Acts 13:1-3). Secondarily, the local church provides a network of social, financial, and intellectual capital that are essential to launching and supporting missionary activity. If you do not have a home church, we encourage you to connect with one before considering the work of an urban missionary.