What neglected ministry skill training most powerfully changes pastors – thereby strengthening churches – causing them to more faithfully fulfill the Great Commission by becoming more intentional and effective in their disciple-making?
Biblical counseling – or, more broadly, soul care – training, of course!
Can YOU do this – without leaving your current ministry?
YES! But you probably would be helped by a tried-and-proven curriculum, contacts among foreign national leaders, and a support team of experienced biblical counseling trainers, right? Attending our OIC Missionary Training Conference (Oct. 3-5, 2018; immediately following the ACBC Annual Conference in Fort Worth, TX) will prepare you to serve pastors and Christian leaders in other nations as an OIC Missionary.
What Is an OIC “Missionary”?
Our “missionaries” are those who are authorized to represent OIC in the nations. Their authorization is gained through attendance at our OIC Missionary Training Conference, approval of their local church leadership, and approval of the OIC Board of Directors.
However, unlike most other missions organizations, OIC has a “Spectrum of Involvement.” While we do have full-time missionaries, both Americans and foreign nationals, most of our missionaries serve one or two weeks twice a year, allowing them to remain in their current ministries as pastors and biblical counseling center directors.
Profile of an OIC Missionary
I often hear the statement, “OIC combines my two passions – biblical counseling and missions.” That’s a great place to begin describing the kind of people we want to represent us. Beyond that, a potential OIC missionary/representative should approximate the characteristics in this sketch:
- Graduate-level theological and/or counseling education
- ACBC or IABC certification
- Significant, positive ministry experience
- A compelling style of presentation (i.e., an interesting, engaging teacher)
- An interest in and ability to learn about and adapt to other cultures
Why Attend the OIC Missionary Training Conference?
I asked that question of some of our experienced directors. Here are some of their responses:
“International missions is a special blessing. You will experience God and grow your faith in ways not otherwise possible. This kind of commitment also carries with it a large obligation. At the MTC you will be motivated by what God has done around the world through OIC missionaries, better understand the cost to serve Christ in this way, and be equipped for the exciting work of combining biblical counseling and short-term missions.”
“Joining with OIC enables an experienced biblical counselor to combine regular, meaningful, short-term mission trips with your current passion for, and appreciation of, Scripturally-sufficient soul care. Your experience is needed and is being desperately requested by pastors around the world. This is the perfect complement for anyone active in biblical counseling.”
“For the sake of personal awareness:
- Awareness of the great need other countries have for biblical counseling training
- Awareness of a proven method or system which can be used in every country around the world
- Awareness of the intense battle raging in churches for God-glorifying soul care
- Awareness of the potential of qualified church leadership who are waiting and praying for your help”
“Exposure to different cultures and beliefs will help you improve in your ministry. The simple trials of international missions will further sanctify you. How do you build relationships with potential foreign national partners, ask for support, and deal with jet lag, sleep deprivation, and illness? The OIC MTC is very helpful in preparing you for international ministry.”
I also asked our current, experienced directors: What do you really appreciate about your ministry with us?
“Access to biblical counselors and to biblical counseling training and resources is readily available to almost anyone in the U.S. That is simply not the case in most other countries of the world. Pastors around the world are requesting our help. What impacts me the most about serving with OIC is seeing this huge disparity and seeing the deep-seated gratefulness of those we teach. In every place I’ve taught, people express how they have been praying for years to have this kind of training. Everyone who teaches with OIC makes a direct, deep, and lasting impact in the churches of the nation where they serve.”
“The OIC Church Leadership Training program curriculum is outstanding, a systematic way to help pastors equip their members to counsel and create a culture of discipleship in their churches. The OIC distinctives of the sufficiency of Scripture, every believer ministry, and heart-based change, all for the glory of God, is providing these pastors with a very new understanding of counseling.”
“The resources (teachers and materials) for biblical counseling training has not been available in most places around world. As a result, those we train are hungry for the wise, practical application of God’s Word. The teaching first impacts the pastors’ own lives and homes. Leaders are now excited, changing, caring for people, and teaching biblical counseling with thousands of testimonies that the training is exactly what they and the churches have needed.”
“The training is far more strategic than just teaching biblical counseling, but is designed to build relationships with the leaders, transform churches, and assist with the development of a national biblical counseling certifying association.”
“I appreciate all the ways the Lord has sanctified me and my wife along this journey with OIC since 2013. But it really comes down to the relationships. Yes, it is more difficult to establish deeper friendships with shorter trips, but we’ve made lifelong friends nonetheless. These relationships give us a global view of the church. Every pastor or biblical counseling ministry leader should consider traveling and teaching biblical counseling with OIC.”
“The OIC Executive Director, Dr. Wayne Vanderwier, is a pastor of pastors. Wayne and his wife, Susie, are highly experienced missionaries, passionate about people and rightly representing Christ, and always an encouragement to those with whom they serve.”
How Can I Apply to Attend the MTC?
The first step is to access and complete our OIC MTC Interest List Questionnaire. We’ll be in touch! We’ll also ask you to submit a letter of recommendation from your pastor or, if you’re a pastor, from a member of your local church leadership team.
Join the Conversation
What other information would be helpful to you as you prayerfully consider attending our MTC and working with OIC?