Wednesday, November 26, 2008

When Do We Go To The Field

A number of issues will determine when we go.

1) Issues of Age

God calls very young children to be missionaries. Others hear the call to go as missionary much later in life. Just remember that God is always on time. Do we send children who are 7 or 17 years of age? Yes, at times (If accompanied by parents, then small children do become missionaries. i.e., Laura Bloodworth, Matt Womble, Lauren Davis, etc.) In my own case, I felt the burden for Africa at the age of 16. However, I did not even entertain the idea of going to another continent at that time. In fact, I did not arrive in Africa until much later at the age of 50! Be patient. You need time to be prepared for the ministry God calls you to. Be patient.

2) Issues of Qualifications

Requirements of the Church would include being a High School graduate; and hopefully some College. However, there are times when a person who does not have an academic background may have other experience that make them good candidates for service in some fields. Foreign Governments also have their own requirements which must be met before one can obtain a working visa which is required to live there. One government officer told me, "You must have skills not found in our own people. Why should we allow you to do what our own people can do?” These days, most governments prefer candidates with Doctoral degrees but will accept Master’s degrees if the person has the right skills and/or experiences.

3) Issues of support

One must not go to the field if he has to beg while on the field. He/She must not become an embarrassment to the Lord and the church. Going on faith alone is wonderful if God supplies. But saying "I have faith" is just not enough. There must be results that prove our faith. This is why in our system (Church of God, Cleveland, TN) that when a person cannot raise their initial support within six months they will be called into a meeting with the administration to discuss their case. One "faith-based" mission I know about had cards printed that advertised they were on the field strictly on faith. Their card said, “Mountain-Moving-Faith Missions”. But after six months these missionaries had to return to their home country because they could not pay their bills. Please understand that it does take faith to go to the field. There are historical examples of those who have gone with very little visible support (such as George Mueller) but most people do not have that kind of faith.

So, when you are old enough, qualified academically, and have the necessary financial support you will much more quickly receive the blessing and backing of your local church.

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About Me

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Cleveland, TN, United States
I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.

TheCabin on Day One

TheCabin on Day One
Fred Alton