The main requirement is – a strong and enduring desire to grow unto full maturity for service through teamwork. This desire at the strongest level cannot be faked or shallow because the hard testing of the missions themselves including violence and threats of violence will force the manifestation of any weaknesses or of mixed motives in this necessary strongest desire for full-time training in impossible missions. The strength and endurance over time of these desires is tested by working 40-80 work weeks in service in the world for between two to five years of full-time training, and is tested also by the Detailed Requirements, below.
- 1. Minimum of 500 concrete case testimonies of ministry in the field. In-church ministry does not count. Only service in the field counts and must be verified by a minimum of 10% of these testimonies (50 out of 500) confirmed by the people who received the ministry services. Pastors and pastoral letters of recommendation do not count as proxy testimonies for those who received services (we do not care what your pastor witnessed) – only verified testimonies of actual people and by the actual people who received the services. All verifications are guaranteed confidentiality and HIPPA privacy protections, and/or anonymity, if applicable. Practical examples of field work are listed on the front page in the sentence – “More than ninety-nine percent of our work happens offline in the workaday world: in businesses, clinics, homes, hospitals, institutions, shelters, shops, on the streets, in off-the-radar mission venues, in urban and real jungles.” For more concrete examples of field work, see “Definition of Impossible Missions ~ And Why We Do Them.”
- 2. Personal testimony. Both written and oral testimonies of the student, accounting for personal growth, detailing daily spiritual discipline in prayer and study, and describing the operation and effects, including failures, of both spiritual gifts and learned work skills, plus a description of the reasons why the student wants advanced level, full-time training.
- 3. Verified accounts and testimonies of effective ministry from those who have received service from students count for more weight than vocational and professional training. Professional training is not mandatory. Students come from a balance of ordinary labor (high school or vocational school graduates), skilled workers (trained in skilled vocations), and seasoned professional workers. Statements of ministry failures are mandatory (not to be kept hidden – lies of omission are fatal). For example, some prison inmates with no high school education have qualified and excelled in this training. So too have migrant workers, unskilled common laborers, former addicts, and people otherwise not desired in some churches. Our students are not model saints. Many are flawed, and struggling, and are not exemplars of high holiness codes of perfection that have led to fractures into hundreds of denominations and thousands of independent local churches, professing superior moral codes, superior holiness codes, and superior worship – students are life-givers out in the field of practical service, free to attend the church of their choice, who want most of all to be more effective in giving life in service in the world.
- 4. Questions and Answers – mostly oral questions and answers to questions that pose impossible missions, cases, projects. Students must answer, including answers to random changes to mission instructions due to random changes on the spot and moment by moment in missions in progress, based on real examples of missions that change many times in mid-mission. The questions go far beyond book learning and beyond most real life experience accumulated thus far by students. The questions demand highest attention to smallest details.
- 5. Church families and traditions represented, are here. A statement by students of general orientation of the contents of their faith (teachings, creeds, catechisms, basic tenants, not a theological exam). Students who cite to YouTubes are almost always rejected because we want to know what you believe, based on your own studies, and your own experiences, and your own testimony – anyone without personal testimonies can recite YouTubes. Pastoral letters of reference, especially character references, count for almost nothing, compared to hard, fact-based, verifiable evidences of effective ministry in giving life, not to people in church, but to people out in the world. We are not training ‘church’ workers. We are training field workers – for labor in the world. “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Matthew 9:37, ESV).
- 6. Wisdom in Discerning Fatal Misdiagnoses by Shallow Believers and Immauture Charismatics. Proof of mature wisdom in discerning immature believers and charismatic teams suffering groupthink, especially those who misdiagnose mental illnesses as demonization. And proof of discernment about how false diagnoses by immature believers can have a wide array of harmful effects – including death – and why immature diagnoses are valid grounds for individual, team, clergy , and whole church malpractice. Students must master all sides of the misdiagnoses leading to the death of the epileptic, who was misdiangosed as demon possessed, Anneliese Michel. Students will be presented with other, randomized, hard, and equally catastrophic cases of misdiagnosis based on real life cases. Students must show mature wisdom in working through these hardest cases. Students must address the most frequent misdiagnosis by immature believers and magical-thinking charismatics who are eager for constant publicity and validation, namely. the misdiagnosis of mere placebo effects mistaken for effective ministry. People suffering from oppression, depression, and other maladies often show a temporary beneficial effect – a placebo effect – from nothing more than getting a little more attention from immature believers and charismatics, and immature people eager for validation and recognition rush to claim placebo effects mistakenly as proofs of valid service, leaving the victims unhealed, and often more injured at deepest levels. Students must show awareness of this misdiagnoses, be able to illustrate if from their own lives, and demonstrate mature wisdom in overcoming and healing such misdiagnoses. Finally, since many of us are charismatics, or are non-charismatics who are open and still believe in dreams, words of wisdom, and visions given by the Holy Spirit, students must demonstrate wisdom in their charismatic gifts by demonstrating the practical application of the truth – “test all things carefully” (1 Thessalonians 5:21) – using personal testimony and demonstrated field experience about mature testing of all things.
- 7. Field and Work Test – working 40-80+ hour work weeks in service in the field (can be concurrent with existing vocations), and dedication to 6-12 hours daily of prayer, with skill at writing down and recording prayers and answers to prayers for practical obedience to the Holy Spirit.
As noted on the front page, the desire to work in teams includes the equally strong desire to lay down individual autonomy and to quit working individually as a solo, lone ranger without accountability and without training from betters and seniors in service – “But solid food is for the mature [plural], for those [plural] who have their powers of judgment trained [plural] by constant practice to distinguish [judge] good from evil,” Hebrews 5:14. See the important related article, “Double Struck Dead ~ No Solo Lone Rangers.” Covenants (agreements, contracts) between students and trainers for full-time training are custom tailored and unique for each student based on the student’s unique calling, based on all the student’s spiritual gifts, combined with learned skills in vocational practice.
Compare, our three Main Models for Full-Time Training are here – 1. Master Skill-Vocational – 2. Healing-Medical – 3. Warfare-Military.
We do not recruit online. We do not accept online requests for training. Personal recommendations of pastors and other church leaders who try to refer students into our training count for almost nothing, and sometimes make matters worse, because we require proof of results, and not promotional glowing references to character. The referrals that count are the testimonies described in the “Detailed Requirements.” Students must have proof of a minimum of five years of full-time experience integrating prayer and obedience to the Holy Spirit in using their spiritual gifts and learned skills in their existing vocations, workplaces, businesses, or professions. We do – but only rarely – help adults through a total ‘career change.’ The objective is not to add more hours to workweeks to end up with 80 hour workloads, but instead, to add more prayer and more obedience to the Holy Spirit for those who hunger for more effectiveness in serving others in their existing work.
Students who are ready for this level of advanced training are somewhat rare, but full-time trainers at this level are even more rare, and we often have more students in backlogs seeking training than we can possibly train. As noted below, we are not training ‘church’ workers. We are training workers for services in the field of the world.
drafted in unison by trainers, some now deceased from the old Listserv in 1986
copy edit by Michael (M.D.), T.J. (Jurist), Jedburgh/SOESM