Click here to search through IMB opportunities you can join through Trips and Teams and projects you can support.
Trips and Teams
Visit here to check out some of the qualifications for IMB Team roles and begin the application process.
FAQ: Going with IMB
So you’re ready to explore the next steps of partnership with IMB. We are excited you’re here, and we know you probably have some questions. Below is a list common questions people ask when they are exploring options, whether joining a team long-term or participating in a short-term trip. Check them out and see if any of these are your own questions, as well. Of course, you can contact us with any questions you do not find answered here via email, chat, or phone.
Q: What are all of these pathways I keep hearing about?
A: “Pathway” is the term IMB uses to describe all the processes involved in sending people from Southern Baptist churches to work on IMB missionary teams. It includes mobilization, recruiting, assessing, training, deploying, and initial support. In short, it is the bridge on which people move from their hometowns to unreached peoples and places around the world. Our main pathways are Trips and Teams.
Q: There’s a lot of talk about limitless at IMB. What does that mean?
A: We at the IMB are passionately pursuing a vision in which all of God’s people are meaningfully engaged in God’s global mission. We serve a God without limits, with unlimited resource, and he’s chosen to use his church to accomplish his purposes of redemption. IMB’s mission includes partnering with churches to send limitless missionary teams imbued with God’s unlimited power and according to his abundant resource to make disciples and plant churches among unreached peoples and places. That’s limitless.
Q: Can business people really join IMB Teams?
A: Absolutely. For “limitless” to become a reality, we need people in all walks of life engaging in the mission. Professionals are able to leverage their job skills and experience to gain entry into new cultures for the sake of the gospel. They become valuable members of missionary teams, especially since they have natural inroads to nationals through everyday business interactions. Find out more about how professionals can engage here.
Q: What about students? Can they join teams?
A: Absolutely. Just as business professionals have unique access to nationals through their workplaces, students also interact on a daily basis with national students, professors, and administrators on their campuses. Students are vital for reaching other students and can play a huge part on missionary teams. Students are also very effective in short-term trips, so it doesn’t always need to be long-term. You can search for student opportunities here.
Q: I’m recently retired and ready to join more directly in the mission. How can I join in?
A: Both IMB trips and teams are open to retirees. If you’re looking to relocate, teams are the place to begin. You can begin to explore the roles here. If you’re not ready to relocate, but you can travel, trips are for you. If you’re ready to start exploring the specifics, check out the opportunities here.
Q: Are there certain qualifications for joining a team or going on a trip?
A: Yes, there are. But the number and type of qualification depends on the team role. Of course, they all have baseline standards, such as being a Christian, and active member of a Southern Baptist church, and being able to clearly articulate the gospel. Some have educational or professional requirements. Others, however, do not. You can learn more about those requirements by checking out the team roles here and their qualifications here.
Q: How does the IMB work with my local church in sending me to the field?
A: The IMB partners with local churches to send; both are active throughout the process. They work hand-in-hand in your initial assessment and in the sharing of appropriate field service opportunities. Serving with IMB is a three way partnership between the missionary candidate, their sending church, and the IMB.
Q: What are some ways that churches can prepare missionaries to go?
A: The IMB has a Training team that develops resources to assist churches in equipping their people to be on mission. We offer events like the Send Conference and Missions Intensives. We also have various online training resources that you can check out here. Keep an eye on IMB.org, as there is a constant flow of helpful articles, and more resources are in the works.
Q: How long does the process usually take from application to going?
A: It depends on the length of service, the readiness of the candidate, and the pathway to the field. Many short term assignments can be processed within a few weeks. Long term assignments may take 1-2 years.
Q: None of the opportunities on the website really fit my talents and gifting. Should I look for another way to serve overseas?
A: The opportunities on the site are just a sample of all that is or will be available. The list is constantly updating, with new opportunities being added regularly. Sometimes, roles can be created for those with unique skills or gifting, or current roles can be tweaked. If nothing on the site fits or excites you, contact us to see if there is another opportunity that fits you better.
Q: Can I go with IMB if I am not a US citizen?
A: Currently, the IMB can only send those who are citizens of the United States or permanent residents holding a valid 10-year permanent resident green card.
Q: Can I go with IMB if I have been divorced?
A: Divorce is in no way an immediate deal breaker. However, the circumstances of the divorce will need to be thoroughly explored and understood during the assessment process to determine any possible limitations to a field assignment. Here again, if you have any questions or concerns, you can contact us and we will help you work through them.
Q: I have teenagers. Does that eliminate me from serving with IMB?
A: Teenagers are tricky. You know that; they live in your home. Having teenagers in your home does not immediately disqualify your family. However, part of the assessment process will focus on a thorough evaluation of their readiness to be sent. Crossing cultures, changing schools, learning language—it is difficult for adults. With the multiplicity of challenges during the teenage years, both the IMB and your sending church need to be careful to place you—your whole family—in a situation where you can thrive.
Q: How do I explore my options for missionary service?
A: Here’s a road map to guide you:
- Connect with your church leadership.
The local church is the vehicle God has chosen to carry out his mission in the world. IMB partners with churches to send. So, it is vitally important that you begin by expressing your desires to serve in this way with your pastor or other church leader. Hopefully, your leaders know you well enough to help you think through how your own experience, gifting, and character may affect your service on the mission field. They will also be able to help you explore options with IMB through the lens of your church’s current missions involvement.
- Be prepared spiritually.
Disciple makers must be faithful disciples themselves. Be sure that you are actively participating in Christian community and growing in your faith. Be in prayer, asking God for direction as you explore opportunities to serve in missions. You can also check out resources such as Deepen Discipleship.
- Understand the basics.
Most Christians would agree that mission is important, but many may not be able to really explain what that mission is. Or what the Bible teaches about it. Or who should be involved. Or what those who are involved should do. These questions form the foundation of basic missiology, and they are important things for you to know. If you’d like to learn them, put together a small group from your church and go through Explore Missions together. It is an introduction to missions that will help you gain the knowledge and skills you need as you proceed.
- Contact us. Sure, you’re already here checking out the site. But we want to be sure that you’re spiritually prepared and your church is on board before we get too far down the road. Once you and your church leadership determine that you’re ready to explore options for sending, email, chat, or call us. We’re here to help. Or you can visit here to begin the application process.
- Connect with your church leadership.