TIMO is looking for dedicated Christ-followers who love people and want to plant churches cross-culturally for the long haul. We’re looking for learners – men and women who are willing to live simply, learn a new language, and work hard to understand the culture of their hosts while sharing Christ in word and deed.
The beauty of TIMO is that it allows a new cross-cultural worker to dive into this strange and difficult life with a group of sojourners at their side. TIMO brings together teams like these to go out among unreached peoples to both learn and do ministry. And in the process, it provides a structure of edifying, caring community to increase the likelihood of success. Teammates are not only roommates. They are a family in place of those that are far away. They are a church where there is none. They are a community of people who understand one another—where they have come from, and why they are there.
This is why we do team. As AIM works among some of the hardest to reach peoples and places, we start and finish better when we do it together. And in the middle, where the triumphs and trials of ministry in Africa play out, we share the burden every bit as much as we share the vision.
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. -African Proverb
WHAT TO PACK
Outreach Team members usually pack light for their 2-3 year assignment. But these eight attitudes are core to the success of each team member. They will be tested on a regular basis by the demands of life and ministry in Africa.
This is a watchword for cross-cultural workers in Africa, where almost nothing goes according to plan. Planes, trains, and buses don’t come when they say they will. People usually don’t come when they say they will. And sometimes, the only thing you can plan on is the fact that plans will change.
Your attitude towards these changes will largely determine your physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Cheerfully embrace the changes in food, language, friends, living situation, and role. Initially, you may not be able to choose many of the circumstances you find yourself in, but you will always be able to choose your response to those circumstances. Choose stubborn joy!
Much of your continuing education will be taught by the people to whom you are supposed to be ministering. Are you willing to be taught lessons of life by Africans? Are you prepared to be shown your weak points by the Holy Spirit, your team members, and nationals? Look for the lesson. Come with an open and expectant heart.
COMMISSIONED BY THE LORD
One day you will be stuck on the side of a road in the rain with a broken down bus and you will think, “How did I ever get myself into this?” These are the moments to remember how the Lord opened the right doors, moved your heart, and provided your financial support. God did not send you to Africa on a whim. He knew what He was doing, and He still does.
MY EXPECTATIONS WILL NOT BE REALITY
The degree of disappointment and disillusionment one experiences in life is often directly proportional to the difference between their expectations and reality. In Africa, your experience will undoubtedly be different than what you now envision. Hold your expectations loosely and when some of them must die, let them go.
Most African cultures place great importance on the need to show respect, a need that is largely foreign to Westerners. Consequently, this is an area where our cultural background can hinder our attempts to move forward in relationship. We may make silly errors, but if we genuinely value and seek to honor each person we meet, that attitude will be evident to our hosts.
People can let you down and disappoint you. Team leaders make mistakes. The people you’ve come to serve can be quite unlovable at times. Forgive. To forgive is our duty, and it is our privilege.
Marriages that succeed are often those that begin with the view that divorce is not an option. Bring that same attitude to the team. Come with the thought that no matter what, you will persevere until the end.
Every TIMO team needs a leader. They are essential to the success of the TIMO model. Some leaders come from the ranks of former teams, and some come from previous ministry leadership experiences but are new to TIMO. Leaders are usually married couples who possess the heart and skills necessary to facilitate and mentor a small team of cross-cultural workers as they journey together in life and ministry. While the position comes with a weighty sense of responsibility, leaders also have the amazing privilege of multiplying their gifts, experience, and heart for the Great Commission.
As team leaders, our goal is to train our team through the ups and downs of cross-cultural living, in order to see multiplying churches planted among the Antakarana
- A spiritual leader
- A model of TIMO core values
- A visionary
- A mentor
- A trainer
- An intercultural liaison
- A church planter
- A reflective practitioner
Team Leaders needed.
Africa Inland Mission is actively seeking TIMO Team Leaders to serve among Africa’s unreached and least-reached peoples – from remote bush villages to bustling urban centers. If you are a Christian leader with some cross-cultural experience, we’d love to talk to you about leading a TIMO team.
Connect with one of AIM’s Mobilizing offices to explore opportunities.