Welcome to the exciting world of cross-cultural volunteer ministry under the umbrella of Free Methodist World Missions (FMWM). FMWM began sanctioning volunteers in 1964 as “Volunteers in Service Abroad,” commonly referred to as VISA. Today, in Free Methodist circles, VISA is another way of saying “short-term missions,” but not all short-term service is VISA. There is a lot of missions activity in churches today, but when it’s “VISA service,” the ministry opportunity is vetted by FMWM missions practitioners and international partners to ensure it’s biblically sound and culturally appropriate and contributing to the ongoing development of the worldwide Free Methodist Church (FMC).
Over the years, FMWM personnel have connected more than 20,000 people from the U.S. and Canada to help the worldwide FMC, which is currently in 100 countries. Many people engage as part of a team sent by their local church or conference, but we also connect individuals and families. Ministry opportunities typically include construction, teaching English, sports camps, helping with Vacation Bible School, agriculture, teaching pastoral ministry classes, medical support, etc.
VISA Team in the Dominican Republic
VISA Team in the Dominican Republic
Because FMWM adheres to the highest standards in short-term missions, we take everyone’s safety seriously and require background checks and FMWM-sanctioned travel health insurance for all participants. Covering the bases can be a big job. FMWM staff provides administrative services to help ensure security and liability issues don’t fall through the cracks and fund transfers are cared for appropriately.
Free Methodist World Missions has multiple cross-cultural ministry avenues, including volunteer and employment opportunities. Volunteer ministry is generally two years or less, although we have multiple ways to partner. FMWM uses a deputized fund-raising system, so whether the ministry path is one of a volunteer or employee, both require raising 100% of the cost of ministry as determined through the budgeting and approval process.
FMWM is an auxiliary of the Free Methodist Church USA and, as such, will only process individuals for missionary service if they have U.S. citizenship or hold a green card. Typical missionary assignments include pastoral training, church planting, children’s ministries, leadership development, assisting missionaries, bookkeeping and administrative help.
Team Leader Training
Since FMWM staff do not specifically plan and organize team experiences, we periodically offer Team Leader Training to help churches prepare for ministry. Training is typically a one or two-day event hosted by a local FMC and is open to participants from across the country. We’ve hosted training at our office in Indianapolis numerous times, but also in California, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Washington and Mexico. If you think your church might be interested in hosting Team Leader Training or if you’re interested in attending, contact us.
Let us know if you are interested in serving on your own or perhaps organizing a church team. If you don’t have a specific project or ministry in mind, we will gladly help you find the best path forward. We know it will take time to discuss things with your church leadership. When you’re ready, let us know so we can help connect the ministry dots and bring the right people into the conversation for collaboration. If you already have a project in mind and have been discussing this with missionaries or national leadership, fill out this form, as it will guide our next steps.
If you are interested in serving short-term as a volunteer or engaging longer-term with missionary service as your vocation, let us know. For either option, the way forward is a conversation, not paperwork.
To start the conversation, contact Jonathan Eccles at 317-616-4777 or through the contact form.
Wesley Missionary Institute, Togo
Africa VISA Voyagers: Resident Teachers for Ministerial Education
Potential locations for assignment include Great Commission Bible School, Malawi, Wesley Missionary Institute, Togo, or Liberia in its pastoral education program. Individuals would commit to a year or longer service. There are great opportunities to help individuals develop in ministry. Malawi and Liberia systems are modular, Togo is residential. Interested teachers will discuss with field leadership to discern a best place of service.
Africa VISA Team: Church Construction/School Repairs
This is for teams who wish to participate in the project of constructing a church or repairing school buildings. In most cases this would include working under the direction of local builders. It could include cement block laying, cement work, basic woodworking. Often the projects are in hot environments. Good health is a necessity. Team size could be between four and ten members.
Spain Long-Term Missionary: Church Planter
Church planters in the region of Madrid and possibly other regions in Spain. Minimum of two years or more for most positions. Open to single persons or couples. Must be fluent Spanish speaker or willing to take an intensive language course upon arrival. Teaching/training abilities needed as well as experience in the specific position.
Spain Long-Term Missionary: Leadership Development Assistant
Help with leadership development and the Bible training institute. Minimum of two years or more for most positions. Open to single persons or couples. Must be fluent Spanish speaker or willing to take an intensive language course upon arrival. Teaching/training abilities needed.
Spain Long-Term Missionary: Youth Ministries Coordinator
Youth ministries Coordinator(s) for Madrid churches. Minimum of two years or more for most positions. Open to single persons or couples. Must be fluent Spanish speaker or willing to take an intensive language course upon arrival. Teaching/training abilities needed as well as experience in the specific position.
Greece VISA Voyagers
Greece is looking for youth workers, musicians, church planters, evangelists and ESL teachers. Minimum one-year commitment.
Romania VISA Voyager: Help at Vis de Copil
Individual/Couple/Family needed to help with ministry in Arad, Romania. Responsibilities would include helping at Vis de Copil (A child’s dream) with cooking, cleaning, maintenance work etc.
Romania VISA Voyager: Church Planting
Individual/Couple/Family needed to help with ministry in Arad, Romania. Church planting skills such as the gifts of discipleship, preaching, worship would be a blessing as FMWM seeks to develop ministry in Arad and across Romania.
Travesia, Honduras VISA Team: Completion of Child Feeding Program Storage and Office Space
The Travesia FMC is looking for help to complete the construction of a pantry to store food supplies for the child nutrition program, thus freeing up space that was originally planned as the pastoral office.
Middle East VISA Team: General Building Repair
Join the ministry in the Middle East as a short-term small maintenance team doing general building repair.
Middle East VISA Team: Leadership Coach
Join the ministry in the Middle East as a short-term leadership coach.
Egypt VISA Team: Theology Teachers
Join the ministry in the Egypt as a short-term theology teacher.
Middle East VISA Team: VBS Teams
Join the ministry in the Middle East through participation in a short-term VBS Team.
Middle East VISA Team: Medical Teams
Join the ministry in the Middle East through participation in a short-term medical team.
Middle East VISA Team: Prayer Team
Join the ministry in the Middle East through the prayer team.