**The following post came out of a conversation with a former professor of mine on how to best do cooperative missions.**
In regards to overseas ministry I am currently a "professional" in the eyes of man, meaning that at this moment in time I am getting paid to do the work of vocational ministry in a career fashion. Obviously I am okay with this enough to be in this position but I also believe that this professionalism has hindered mission efforts over the years. The reason being that we have set up this idea of the professional minister or missionary being the one that does the work of the ministry, which alienates the average lay person in the church separating a "call" to ministry for the select few. In this way we are not operating together as one body represented in the global church.
I have written on this subject many times in the last year so I do not intend to rehash all of the previous posts; but rather to take a look at a different approach on how adopting a cooperative model of missions can look because cooperatively is how missions should be done. So, how does a cooperative model of missions look?
For starters, it can start by being willing to cooperate with any Christ-centered evangelical church that is willing to answer Christ's call to obedience and self-sacrificing love. In moments like these we put aside secondary issues for cooperation, which is why they are considered secondary anyway. If we really are all part of one spiritual body in Christ then we must be willing to work together on a more cooperatively level globally.
A former professor of mine says it like this, "Thus our desire as missionaries is simply to follow the Scriptures, which stress the power of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church - not organizations, methods, programs, or personalities." In this way, doing it the way that the New Testament church does it has to become more than just a slogan for us. "One essential for missions is prayer and sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit."
This professor goes on to say that we cannot allow our results to be dependent upon the large, well-financed organizations as many do, but rather be simple obedient followers of Jesus who are on mission in today's world. As a Christ follower you/we should all be in the business of doing missions, in spite of not being professionals because this is what we have all been called to do, both locally and globally.