Prepare


It Starts With Your Local Ministry

Want to be a missionary? Reliant doesn't recruit you directly. We partner with churches and networks who do.

Your local ministry is your orbit for the work God has called you to do. Whether you are the sole leader or are joining the team, this is the place that sets the tone for your theology and ministry approach. Reliant comes alongside to train and support you while entrusting the local church for spiritual oversight.

Most of our missionaries have existing experience as a volunteer leader in their ministry before they come to Reliant.

Our assessment and fundraising process is guided by this key value. So our first question is usually "who are you with?"

Does your church or network already work with us?  Then you’re ready to begin and your key leader representative may already be established. For existing campus or missional churches, this often is a Reliant missionary in a pastor or ministry leadership role.

New to Reliant? We establish new partnerships with like-minded churches or church networks on a regular basis. For church plants, we connect with a sending church or church board.

There's a Lot You Can Start Now

For many of our missionaries Reliant is the next step in ministry, not the first. Most have already been serving and leading in their ministry before they come to Reliant. However, the transition to full-time ministry and fundraising, especially if leaving a full-time job, takes life planning.

  • Plan your timeline for the next 6-12 months. Project for assessment, life transitions, training, fundraising phases.
  • Continue to lead and grow in ministry skill, doctrine, and Christian character.
  • Open an Assessment Hub account to get more information early.

Complete Your Assessment


Reliant takes missionary assessment seriously. We want you to be ready. Ministry leaders are often placed in positions of high visibility and spiritual leadership. Plus, fundraising for ministry is a calling with particular challenges and rewards, and it is not appropriate for every circumstance. We can help discern this with you.

Those starting with Reliant range from new-to-ministry to church-planting pastors with many years of experience. We want to understand where you have been and what God is leading you to next.

Standards

What do we look for when assessing missionaries and church planters?

Local Endorsement

Because we work in ministry partnership with local spiritual leadership, the first assessment is by the local church. Your local ministry must be enthusiastically ready and willing to commission and spiritually oversee your ministry work.

Confidence in Calling

How confident are you that this is the ministry God has called you to do? Why now? Why is missionary-support the way God has called you to do it?

Ministry Skill

How gifted and experienced are you in relation to the ministry role you are seeking to fill? Key factors can include: evangelism, discipleship, shepherding, administration, leadership, entrepreneurship. We understand that roles vary greatly from experienced pastor to young campus minister.

Walk with God and Spiritual Formation

What is your testimony of conversion and spiritual growth? What are your habits in spiritual disciplines and knowledge of scripture, and how do you respond to difficult times?

Moral Conduct and Emotional Health

Do you meet our standards of Christian character? Christian missionaries must maintain high standards in ethical conduct, sexual purity, substance-dependence, relationship to self and others.

Fundraising Readiness

Are you ready to launch and be successful in the fundraising process? Do you have sufficient financial health, an ability to cast vision for others, a current platform of relational support, and a realistic timeline and plan?

Spousal and Family Support

Does your family or spouse or dependents support the vocation you are seeking?

International Readiness

Missionaries and church planters working outside the US have additional challenges, and our process adds assessment on cross-cultural flexibility and mental health through our partners at International Personnel Consultants.

Process

Your assessment is organized step-by-step at our online Assessment Hub—go.reliant.org.

The full process takes 6-8 weeks for most US missionaries or church planters.

You'll go through six phases:

  1. Connection Phase: Get answers to your questions before applying.
  2. Documentation Phase: Tell us all about you and your ministry.
  3. Local Interview: Secure a local review of your ministry role.
  4. Reliant Interview: An independent review by a Reliant assessor.
  5. Decision & Discernment Phase: Reliant and local representatives collaborate on a hiring decision.
  6. Provisionally Accepted Phase: Ready to head to Reliant training.

(International Missionaries should plan an additional 4-6 weeks. Interns or Residents with terms less than nine months have an abbreviated process.)

Visit the Assessment Hub

Launch Week


Fundraising is more than just asking for money.

Ministry Team Development (MTD) is the core process Reliant missionaries use to seek financial partners. The training philosophy is based on William McConkey's "Win, Keep, Lift" strategy, and has been proved successful notably through Campus Crusade for Christ, the largest evangelical missions agency in the world.

Key aspects of our MTD model include:

  • Emphasis on personal, face-to-face connection with financial partners in offices, coffee shops, and homes.
  • Recognizing those who give as sustaining partners—financially, prayerfully, and practically.
  • The skill of sharing a clear, concise, and compelling story that includes a personal testimony, the needs of a mission field, the gospel, and a direct ask for partnership.
  • Recurring monthly giving as foundational to a steady missionary budget that does not require renewing financial commitments each year

Our launch week will send you out with confidence.

Many folks who resolve to boldly follow God realize quickly that fundraising may be necessary, and that the challenge can be overwhelming. The dollar amounts can feel large, the insecurity real, and it's hard to know where to start a large project. It's a bit like starting your own business!

This challenge is why we created our MTD Training Week. Offered four times annually, Reliant's training is the launch point for all deputized fundraisers with Reliant.

A comprehensive 80-hour course in the theological and practical aspects of Ministry Team Development, the interactive week is facilitated by people who have firsthand experience—leaders who have raised funds themselves for church planting, campus ministry, and more.

Topical examples include: God's Perspective on Money, Facebook and Financial Partners, Calling Back for a Decision, Handling Yes, No & Maybe Answers, and Location Strategy.

The training is intense and covers a broad set of skills in a short amount of time. But we expect missionaries like you to leave the training able to present your local ministry in a clear, concise, and compelling manner, and confident in your calling, your strategy, and even exactly the tasks you will do the next day.

Participants consistently rate the training as essential to their success in fundraising.

Another bonus? You'll meet like-minded folks like you from missional ministries across the US and internationally. Many of our missionaries meet good friends this week as you sharpen each other's story and strategy.

Check out the Training Dates and Deadlines

Build Your Team


Sharing the vision is your mission.

Most church planters or missionaries need a period of 4-12 months to raise the full salary. During the initial fundraising phase, missionaries devote their full attention to raising up the team of financial partners until they've reached a 100% funding level.

This phase is designed for your success. One of the most common causes of long-term failure is trying to raise funds "on the side" as you continue ministry work and even another job. This can cause a distraction where you never achieve the support you need to be sustainable in ministry.

We make sure you're not alone.

Our studies confirm that a key to success in MTD is a regular—typically weekly—connection with an MTD Coach. MTD coaches are current or former Reliant staff who have completed MTD training themselves. Coaches support, challenge, and encourage in Christian character, true theological thinking, and MTD skills and strategy.

While the most important part of coaching is the regular contact and spiritual support, Reliant also has twenty-five years of experience in missionary fundraising data that can help us pinpoint success and trouble points. We provide your local coach access to our custom-built Coachnet website for tracking your progress and access to expert advice for complex situations.

Live Your Calling


Go Make Disciples of All Nations

Your heartbeat was always to build the gospel into the lives of others, and once you've built your partner team, you're even more free to live and love the Great Commission of Jesus.

Fully Supported Ministry

Completing the initial fundraising phase returns you to full-time ministry with a strong base of financial support that can last for many years. Plus you have a team of partners who are spiritually invested in the work God is calling you to.

And don't forget your Reliant team. Our goal is to support you for as long as God calls you to support-based ministry. Whether it's answering the phone when your financial partners call, helping your family make decisions about health insurance, or helping you plan for seminary education, we're behind you all the way.

Reliant.org uses cookies for features, performance, and tracking. By continuing to browse this site, you agree to this use, and to our Privacy Promise.