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Global Outreach International

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a question below to expand the answer. If you have additional questions, please get in touch by calling 662-842-4615 or sending an email to [email protected].

Who is Global Outreach International and what is its history?

Global Outreach is a nondenominational missionary support and church equipping organization. We exist to exalt Christ and engage people in mission by proclaiming the Gospel, doing good, and equipping the church. We are a US-based 501(c)3. We provide a support platform for the church to send people on mission both internationally and in the United States. That support includes preparation, training, financial and administrative back office services, donation processing, ongoing missionary care through informal and formal means, and re-entry debriefing. We do all of this at no charge to our missionaries and mission project coordinators (people who use our services to support a ministry but do not fundraise their salaries).

Global was originally founded in 1971 by several Mississippi businessmen under the name Agricultural Missions Foundation. It was first established to conduct missionary work in Ecuador and Latin America using agricultural training. More missionaries in other areas were eventually drawn to the organization due to its low boundaries policies and flexibility, and so the name was eventually changed to Global Outreach International in reflection of our missionaries' greater geographic reach and varied ministries.

Why would someone want to join Global Outreach?

The church is God's mission strategy. We are here to help. Men and women face many pressures as they respond to God's mission call, especially if that involves fundraising and/or cross-cultural transition. We want to be the church's strategic partner in mission sending by providing a wide range of missionary care services at no charge, passing through 100% of donations missionaries raise, with the Gospel firmly at the center of all we do.

Our Home Office staff collectively have many years of domestic and international missions experience, as well as leadership experience in church, ministry, and other organizational contexts. We talk about ourselves as a "missions family" and work hard every day to provide personal support and service to our growing body of missionaries and mission workers. We consistently hear that this family atmosphere is tangible and sets us apart.

We operate according to a "low boundaries" approach. We believe that God can and does use many different people and ministry plans to further His gospel, so we do our best to be supportive rather than restrictive. We do not tell missionaries where to go, we do not have one specific strategic focus (such as church planting or unreached people groups), and we do not decline missionary candidates solely for reasons of age, marital status, family size, or education level. We are also happy to support missionaries who work in partnership or secondment to other organizations aligned with our statement of beliefs.

Finally, our 100% pass-through policy is fairly unique. Many missions organizations retain a percentage of all missionary donations raised through their platform to help cover admin costs. We understand why they do this. We believe we have been called to the unique position of passing through 100% of those donations and working to provide for Home Office administrative costs via other means.

How do people join Global Outreach, and are there any costs or special requirements?

Here is what a typical process looks like:

  • Fill out the long term inquiry form, a short form that asks basic questions about your ministry goals.
  • You'll then be contacted to set a time for a phone call with missionary care staff.
  • If that goes well, you'll receive a longer application by email.
  • Once your application is processed and approved, you can RSVP for a week-long Missionary Orientation Training (MOT; you must RSVP at least three months in advance). You'll then receive instructions to start our Missionary Orientation Process that includes assessments, reading, and instructional videos.
  • You and your family (if applicable) will attend Missionary Orientation Training (which has a cost that covers housing, materials, meals, and staff time). You'll be considered Candidates. Please note that it is a requirement that all members of the family who will be participating in ministry (i.e. moving to a different country or being affected in the same household) must be present for MOT. We take missionary kid preparation very seriously and believe whole family discipleship is a biblical responsibility.
  • After a successful MOT, you'll be considered Appointees and will begin fundraising and preparing for any necessary transitions. (If you are transferring to GO from a different organization, you will likely just need to communicate with your network and resume ministry as you've been doing it.)
  • After about one year of active ministry, you're required to return to Tupelo MS to formally appear before our Board of Directors for Commissioning. That completes your Missionary Orientation Process.

As far as requirements, we have only a few:

  • you must sign a statement that you agree with our Statement of Faith;
  • you must be willing to submit to and comply with our administrative processes and best practices;
  • you must complete our Missionary Orientation Process, culminating in a week-long Missionary Orientation Training;
  • you must have a sending church that signs a Church Partnership Agreement that includes prayer support, accountability, and a $200/month commitment to the Home Office over and above what they provide you directly.

We do not require formal education, we do not mandate particular ministry strategies, we do not place you geographically, and in general we leave room for the Holy Spirit to move you how He sees fit. We are your (and your sending church's) partners in discerning what is wise, and we are here to help you keep the Gospel at the center of your work, however it looks.

Does Global Outreach provide funding to ministries or missionaries?

Global Outreach does not directly provide funding to any missionaries, ministries, or projects. We are a support and fundraising platform for missionaries and ministry personnel sent by local churches. The funds we process on missionaries' behalf are raised by those missionaries.

How does Global afford to operate if you pass through 100% of missionary donations?

Our Home Office staff and missionary support programs are funded through several different means:

  • Global Partners donate regularly to the Home Office. Usually these are people who already give to missionaries but understand the value of the Home Office and go generously above and beyond to support us specifically.
  • Global Partner Churches are the home / sending churches of our missionaries who make a monthly $200 commitment to the Home Office (on top of / different than any support they provide directly to the missionary).
  • Church Equipping: several staff members provide custom leadership development and coaching services on a fee-for-service basis to other ministries, churches, non-profits, and businesses. Learn more here.

What should I expect from Missionary Orientation Training? Why is a week-long in-person training required?

We hold three week-long Missionary Orientation Trainings (MOT's) each year: (1) the third full week in February; (2) the third full week in June; (3) the second full week in October. The deadline to begin the Missionary Orientation Process is three months prior to the start date of each MOT. Our process includes being fully known by your sending church, assessments, reading, and spiritual preparation.

The week-long Missionary Orientation Training covers a wide range of topics, including leadership and ministry development, fundraising and communication best practices, emotional intelligence and mental health, crisis management, Home Office administrative processes, cross-cultural transitions, Missionary Kid training (if applicable), theology and Gospel contextualization, and more. We believe that face-to-face preparation and relationship building are an essential foundation for working well together for long-term resilient ministry.

Most participants tell us the week was nothing like they had expected or had experienced elsewhere, in a good way. This includes participants who have transitioned to Global from sometimes decades of serving through other organizations. Our facilitators design the week to include prayer, corporate worship, devotion, relationship building, shared meals, rest, and adult learning best practices. We encourage you to think of this week as a deepening of our rest in the sufficiency of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection for all we could ever need.

We are told over and over again that missionaries are thankful that our organization feels like a family. The overall process, culminating in a week together for MOT, is a big part of how that atmosphere is introduced and maintained. You'll grow deeply in relationship with our staff as well as with the other missionaries in your cohort as you learn, dialogue, teach one another, and share testimonies to God's faithfulness and goodness.