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Frequently Asked Questions (Going)

Where do you serve?
Avant focuses on serving in the unreached areas of the world, defined as areas that are less than 2% evangelical. In some areas that are above this percentage, our emphasis is on training and helping churches to become missionally healthy, and mobilizing Global South believers to serve among the unreached globally.

Currently, Avant missionaries serve in about 50 countries globally.
How long do Avant missionaries serve?
Lengths of service fall generally into one of these three categories:

Short Term (one week to six months):
Avant's short-term ministries are designed to provide exposure to other cultures and needs, allowing you to see where you might fit if God were to lead you to pursue longer term ministry down the road. Opportunities for meaningful ministry and outreach are built in to short-term experiences.

Ministry teams of various sizes spend anywhere from one to three weeks making a difference. EMERGE summer internships of 4, 6 and 8 weeks go deeper, and academic credit is often available.

Mid Term (six months to two years):
The Avant mid-term program is designed for those who have a desire to serve between six months and two years, including those who may be contemplating serving longer term in the future. This length of time lets you go deeper in the language, culture and ministry impact than is possible in a short-term assignment.

The mid-term assignment is a mentorship process, allowing the missionary to work alongside and learn from a long term missionary or team. Serving as a mid-term missionary provides an excellent opportunity to make a significant and real impact on the field while also focusing on discovery of God's will and plan for your life over the long haul.

Long Term (greater than two years):
Much of the ministry vision of Avant requires cross-cultural servants who are in it for the long haul. While real impact can happen in short time frames, the bigger picture of the transformation of communities, cities, and nations requires a commitment to time; time to build trust, time to establish healthy churches, time to train leaders, time to see Biblical maturity take root.

Most long-term missionaries point to a shorter-term experience as key to their process of discovering God's will for them to expand their service. Long-term members of Avant are generally confident of their call to serve for an extended season, often vocationally, in cross-cultural ministry. A long-term assignment requires careful prayer, preparation, and commitment. Applicants must demonstrate maturity and Christ-likeness in their character.

Do you send teams or individuals?
The short answer is we do both. There are a wide variety of ministry opportunities and field contexts. Some call for individuals, others for teams.

Where possible, our goal will always be to place missionaries in teams. In some cases, we will deploy a team together. Collaboration and community are two of Avant's deeply held core values

We send individuals, families and teams in several different ways.

  • We send people to places where we already have other missionaries established
  • We send people where we have partnerships with national churches, pastors and/or organizations.
  • We occasionally send experienced individuals to isolated places, with the goal of building a team around them in a short time frame.
  • We create new teams of individuals and families to new fields, or to new areas in existing fields.
  • We also sometimes send an entire team from a specific church (or a network of churches who partner together). This is a specific kind of team called Joint Venture.
What is the process to be sent through Avant?
Will I need to raise support?
Yes. A very important part of serving with Avant is the process of raising both prayer and financial partners.  They will become a vital part of your extended team as you serve cross-culturally. Avant will give you the training you need to help you in raising support, including the support of coaches to help you be successful.  

The exact amount to be raised is dependent on a variety of factors including the cost of living in your specific field, your family size, type of ministry assignment, anticipated travel needs, etc. 

We are confident you will experience God provide for your ongoing financial needs, and will be blessed by the relationships you develop with those who become part of your support team.

Is Avant affiliated with a denomination?
Avant is not part of a specific denomination. We are an evangelical, interdenominational, bible believing mission organization.

What is the role of my home church?
Avant is a church-planting mission. In order to plant healthy churches, it is vital that our missionaries are sent by a church. Avant is an important conduit for field ministry, but the journey begins with the local church.

The local church is a primary link in our sending process, and therefore plays a key sending and partnership role. We ask churches to affirm the call of each applicant, provide opportunities for discipleship and ministry, help assess in the readiness of the applicant, and partner with them on their journey once deployed to the field.

We believe that having a home church is of utmost importance for the ongoing spiritual development for all believers. We will require a pastoral reference which includes affirmation of your intent to serve cross culturally. If you don’t have a home church, we encourage you to find a church that is a good fit and spend some time serving locally before applying.
Am I qualified?
When you begin an exploratory process with Avant, we will look at three things:
  1. Can you articulate a clear call to go to the nations?
  2. Are you involved with a local church? Have you discussed your desire to be a missionary with the pastor or missions committee?
  3. Have you read and understand our doctrine?
There will be more to discuss as mutual exploration progresses, but these three things will be foundational from the start.
Do I need a certain amount of college Bible credit?
Avant does not require a minimum number of hours. Depending on your background and anticipated role, we may ask you to take a bible class or two before going to the field. 

Some field positions, such as theological education, do require higher education. Requirements vary.
Do you offer training?

Yes! Training and coaching happens before you go and throughout your time on the field.

Before you Go:

  • Avant Start and Avant Go: Avant Start is a one week program for missionary candidates focusing on affirming your call, confirming your fit and providing an orientation to the mission, vision and culture of Avant. As new members get close to field depature, Avant Go provides another week of focused training and pre-field orientation. Both weeks of training are designed to prepare you to survive and thrive in your cross-cultural ministry assignment with Avant.
  • Pre-field care: Member Care, mentoring, coaching, training and discipleship before you get there.
After you get there:
  • On-field: Language training, ministry team development, conferences and workshops are just some of the components of ongoing training and development resources available for missionaries on the field.
  • Leadership Development: Avant provides ongoing training and coaching opportunities to help prepare many field missionaries for field and other leadership roles.
What if I have debt?
Carrying debt can indeed present some unique challenges for life on the field as a cross-cultural missionary. We desire you to be sent well, and a significant debt load has the potential to be a distraction. But it is important to know that having debt does not disqualify you. Avant understands that in today's environment, having debt, and particularly college debt, is a common fact of life for many people. 

While having debt does not automatically disqualify you from membership, it will be a point of conversation and coaching as your pre-field plan and support needs are worked out. At a minimum, a clear plan for debt management and reduction must be mutually understood and developed. Depending on the nature and amount of debt, we may ask you to reduce debt to a certain level before leaving for the field.
What support or benefits does Avant provide to those who have been sent?
Avant strives to provide the best possible support, benefits, pastoral care and training for our members: 
  • Accountability and community in a team
  • Strategy development
  • Support-raising assistance
  • Development and training
  • Medical insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Missionary kid care and educational support
  • Communication services
  • Donor support
  • Pastoral care
  • Crisis care and intervention
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