QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Why does European Christian Mission International exist?
Why is ECMI not in every European country?
Does your mission agency do anything other than plant churches?
Do you work with other mission agencies?
What are the different mission options available to serve with ECMI?
Can I go to any country or location (big city) I want to?
Are there any “paid” positions with ECMI-USA?
What does ECMI-USA do to help the missionary raise support?
How long does it take to get to the mission field?
How do the finances work?
What kind of training do I need before I can serve with ECMI?
What are the steps of involvement with ECMI-USA?
What is the first (next) step?
ECMI exists to establish and develop reproducing churches that evangelize and disciple the peoples of Europe. We achieve this with a unique combination of four factors: exclusive focus on Europe, priority in church planting, partnerships with churches and other mission agencies, and innovation through new initiatives. ECMI-USA exists to resource this work with prayer, people, ministry partnerships and financial provision.
Since its beginning in Estonia in 1904, ECMI has served in countries where God has raised up workers who have sensed His call to Mission. The intervening 100 years have included revolution, two World Wars, severe persecution and two major re-drawings of the map of Europe which have continuously altered the missionary landscape. ECMI missionaries have been expelled, some have been martyred and others have emigrated. Before WWI, ECMI had extensive ministries in Estonia, Russia, Ukraine and Germany. Between WWI and WWII, the mission renewed ministries in Estonia, Ukraine and Germany while new opportunities were seized in France, Spain, Austria and Czechoslovakia. After WWII, ECMI moved into other countries in Western Europe and engaged in relief and teaching ministries in the East. Since the fall of communism in 1989, ECMI personnel have also become resident in countries of Eastern Europe.
Planting churches involves over 40 different ministry activities. Among other things, these include theological education, addiction rehabilitation, migrant assistance, leadership training, mentoring, education, discipling, evangelism, radio, internet and other media, youth work and youth camps, school programs and day clubs, English classes, school for handicapped children, pregnancy centers, book stores, and social outreach programs including food and clothing distribution. ECMI focuses each of these supporting ministries toward the planting and or development of a local church.
Yes. ECMI currently has more than a dozen partnerships with mission agencies and church groups throughout Europe.
There are generally five options:
- Short term - usually with a group in the summer for 1-2 weeks
- Individual short term -special tailored programs up to two years
- Internship - with a school, college or university and an ECMI leader for a minimum of 6 weeks
- Long term - as a career missionary or support person
- Bi-vocational long term - working 20 hours per week as a missionary and 20 hours per week in a self-owned or other business
ECMI has a formulated strategy for entering and developing pioneer mission work in a city or area. ECMI uses a team approach to missions so that an individual missionary is not left to struggle alone. Thus, in a pioneering work there would be others with whom the missionary would be working, perhaps with other partner mission agencies. ECMI places a high value on the care of its missionaries and requires that such care be available to them on the field.
No, ECMI is a faith-based mission. Each person has to raise 100% of his or her prayer and financial support.
Since raising a prayer and financial support team is such an important endeavor, ECMI-USA provides training and mentoring support, as well as oversight of the process.
Generally it takes from one to two years for longer term service. This depends primarily on whether or not a person has already completed the equivalent of approximately 30 credits of Bible school and the length of time it takes to raise a prayer and financial support team. ECMI assigns a mentor to walk through each step with the applicant to minimize problems and the time needed to get to the field.
Because ECMI missionaries come to Europefrom all over the world and work with team members from other countries, ECMI tries very hard to have parity in the financial compensation of its missionaries. Salary levels are established by the international office using values calculated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for the cost of living in each country. In addition, USA missionaries need to raise sufficient support to meet the requirements of ECMI-USA, which include such things as health and life insurance, a retirement plan, school loan repayments, training fees, taxes, ministry expenses and initial set up costs. Salaries are paid monthly. Reimbursable expenses require appropriate reporting and accompanying receipts.
Required training is dependent on which of the 5 ministry avenues (see question 5 above) the applicant has chosen for service. The general rule for long-term ministry requires that the applicant should have or be in the process of obtaining the equivalent of approximately 30 credits of Bible school training. ECMI provides on the field training for all its members and requires all members to go through the 3 phases of its orientation program.
- Pre-field - appointee orientation, support-raising, language acquisition skills and cultural adaptation training
- Arrival in field - focused to the specific field and directed by the team leader
- After 6-18 months - one to two week Foundation Course, working through real issues encountered on the field
The steps are designed in succession from Inquirer, to Applicant, Candidate, Appointee, and Deployed Missionary. These steps allow mutual evaluation, training, and preparation for the mission field. The major parties include ECMI-USA, the sending church, the Leadership of the chosen country of service, and the applicant. The major steps include an application, references and background checks, mentoring by the sending church, medical and psychological evaluations, a formal interview, appointee orientation, support raising, a field visit, finalizing the field assignment, visa application, cultural and language acquisition training, purchase of tickets, a commissioning by the sending church, shipping of goods, and departing for the field.