As the Reaching & Teaching Practicum Coordinator, I have the honor of cultivating a heart for missions among 18-to-25-year-olds who are in a season of life in which they’re making many life-altering decisions. It’s our prayer that the Practicum will help these believers wisely prioritize the role of missions in their lives.
Here’s the goal of the RTIM Practicum: to serve churches and students by providing a holistic, cross-cultural ministry experience alongside RTIM global workers who are committed to church-centric missions. Each element of this mission statement is important. Let me explain.
1. Serving Churches and Students
Reaching & Teaching desires to serve local churches in the USA by giving their students a hands-on opportunity for ministry around the world. We handle the trip’s training and logistics in order to encourage these students to invest more fully in their local church. We want them to get a true taste of life on the mission field without worrying about much else.
Participation in the Practicum provides the opportunity for young believers to experience ministry in a unique context. Hopefully, over six weeks, their understanding of God’s Kingdom and God’s church around the world will both expand and sharpen.
2. A Holistic, Cross-Cultural Ministry Experience
What exactly do students do? Well, not every experience is the same. But broadly speaking, they’ll have the opportunity to learn from individuals and churches; they’ll experience the challenges and joys of language learning and other aspects of cross-cultural acquisition.
Thankfully, we’re able to offer more than a typical short-term trip. Six weeks living cross-culturally allows the student to get a small taste of culture shock and homesickness. They’ll even grow accustomed to the everyday aspects of cross-cultural life that simply get overlooked for a shorter period of time. For young people who are considering whether or not to commit their lives to serving overseas, this is absolutely beneficial. They learn a little bit about what life is actually like for long-term, cross-cultural missionaries.
3. Alongside Reaching & Teaching Global Workers
Perhaps the biggest reason to consider the RTIM Practicum is that students will get to serve with some of the best missionaries in the world. They’ll have an up-close-and-personal view of how they manage family life, ministry, and cross-cultural living. Our hosts understand this as a tremendous opportunity, not an inconvenience. There’s little more rewarding than investing in young people in order to grow their desire to see God’s glory expand to the ends of the earth through healthy local churches.
4. Committed to Church-Centric Missions
That last phrase in the previous paragraph shouldn’t be overlooked. We want the next generation of missionaries to love the local church and missions. We want them to have deep convictions about healthy, church-centric missions no matter what role they may play in the future.
The local church is God’s chosen means for expanding his Kingdom to every tribe, tongue, and nation. Any missions strategy that deemphasizes the importance of the local church is ultimately not following God’s own plan for his own people. Those who participate in the Practicum will discover the importance of the local church both in sending missionaries to the field and in serving them once they get there. One result of this is that Practicum participants will be equipped to cultivate a more urgent sense of church-centered missions into their own churches once they get home.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to get involved in the Practicum, please contact Reaching and Teaching here.