Meet an Agency: Christar

We’re lovin’ this new, ongoing series–a little meet-and-greet with organizations to help you go there, serve Him, and love them even better. (For more thoughts about why you might join an agency–and a handful of reasons you might not–make sure to check out He Said/She Said/You Say? “Should I go overseas with an organization?”, both the pros and the cons.)

Today, we’re grabbing a cup o’ joe with Christar. Pull up a chair.

Tell us what your agency specializes in. What are you passionate about? 

We’re propelled by a zeal to establish churches among the least-reached. We’re talking people who don’t have access to a church where the gospel is preached in their language and culture and proximity. Christar’s going for Christ-honoring transformation in least-reached communities throughout the world where He’s not yet known or worshiped.

How long have you been around, and how large are you guys? In what countries are your global workers located? 

 Christar has a heritage of over 100 years of church-planting experience, with roots reaching back to 1909.

Approximately 540 Christar workers serve in teams throughout the Middle East, Far East, South, Central and Southeast Asia, Europe and North America. They minister through a wide range of creative outreaches and projects, in areas such as education, healthcare, business, community development, IT, communication and the arts.

Tell us one story that excites you from what your organization is doing.

One of Christar’s massive challenges: many unreached people live in areas where traditional “missionaries” can’t go.

Sometimes God moves least-reached peoples into regions where they can hear the gospel. Other times, he places his followers in these communities, enabling them to serve through creative means.

Sometimes He does both.

Leon & Tiffany’s Story

As university students, Leon and Tiffany sensed God’s call to serve across cultures. But they didn’t see him open doors for them to minister outside of their homeland in the Far East. They pursued becoming “traditional missionaries” and considered serving through a business as mission initiative, but God didn’t make a way for them. But he still had a plan to use them for his renown among the least-reached.

In 2015 Leon and Tiffany learned about the many asylum-seekers fleeing to Germany. Many came from least-reached communities, where few have even heard the gospel.

They asked God, “Could we do anything for your kingdom in Germany?”

God had already been prepping these two long before. Leon had lived in the country for a year as an exchange student and Tiffany had studied German for several years, giving them a good foundation in the country’s language and culture.

But wait! There’s more. Leon had earned a degree in computer science and after graduation was hired by an accounting firm in Hong Kong. He’d been working there for over five years when he learned of an opportunity to transfer to an office…in Germany.

God flung the door open, working out all the details necessary for Leon and Tiffany to relocate to Europe.

And the non-traditional path had killer benefits. It was much easier to obtain a work visa than another type, and Leon could more readily rent an apartment with a working contract. The couple needs minimal financial support from churches, freeing those fellowships’ funds to support other workers. Leon’s job also gives him an identity in the community that’s easily understood and provides him and his family with a logical reason to be living as expats. He and Tiffany are able to build relationships with their neighbors which–by God’s kindness–will lead to opportunities to share Jesus with people who’ve never heard about him.

By serving in professional roles, our “marketplace ministry” workers are able to transform least-reached communities.

5 Words to DESCRIBE YOUR ORGANIZATION’S CULTURE. Go.

Prayer. Community. Discipleship. Innovation. Teams.

What’s distinctive about you?

Commitment to Prayer

Christar values a humble dependence, a growing love for God, and serious commitment to prayer. We recognize that we can’t do the work to which He calls us in our own strength. In addition to regular prayer times on our teams and in our offices, we require each worker to recruit 100 people committed to pray for them daily before leaving for the field. This reminds us of our dependence on God and our partnership with those who have sent us.

Working in Teams

Small groups of people linked to Christar, with complementary gifts, commit to the goal of planting churches among the least-reached (some team members may not be from our organization). We model Jesus’ Body through an agreed-upon ministry plan, mutual care, and mutual accountability.

Let’s talk brass tacks. give us the 411 on your application and training process.

We provide Christar mentors to counsel, encourage and pray with you every step of the way as you evaluate future steps. 

Our process begins with filling out a Preliminary Information Form. If you and our Mobilization Team discern that it’s time to move ahead, we will walk you through the rest of the application process, including docs like post-high school transcripts and references.

Once you’ve completed the process and been approved, you’ll start attending orientations and trainings to help you prepare for ministry. These include New Personnel Orientation (NPO), fundraising training, language acquisition training and Pre-Departure Orientation. In addition, we’ll tailor a Personal Development Plan specifically to you. This plan is designed to help you effectively prepare for ministry among the least-reached, and might involve an internship or taking additional courses.

What kind of global workers are you looking for? Paint us a word picture.

We are teachers. Medical personnel. Engineers. Business managers. And way more.

We come from different countries and cultures. We’ve got a wide range of abilities, skills and spiritual gifts. We are singles, couples and families—all using our unique capabilities to bring the hope of Christ to people who have never heard.

We’re looking for people who walk in step with Jesus and have beating hearts for the least-reached. We need people who are equipped with basic biblical knowledge and godliness. We are looking for humble learners with an insatiable desire to understand and adapt. We are looking for workers who see obstacles as opportunities for God to show up, for his glory.

We know people aren’t. perfect. Yet we trust God to grow and prepare a person well for cross-cultural service.

If a person is prideful and not teachable, we’re significantly concerned: There’s not much hope of them preparing well for their next steps in ministry.

Similarly, if they’re not submissive to authority in their lives, it’s not looking likely they’ll submit to the requirements and training before going. Once they are on the field, they’d likely not submit to experienced leadership there.

In addition, we are concerned if an applicant is not involved in outreach and ministry right now, wherever they’re at. Crossing the ocean does not magically turn anyone into an evangelist.

Editor’s note: Check out Go. Serve. Love’s How Ready am I? Self-Assessments for Global Work.

Tell us anything we missed.

Our single goal—God-glorifying, Christ-centered communities—is a process, not an event.

It takes time to get to know people, so this ministry can be a difficult, long-term endeavor. We’ve designed Christar’s short-term opportunities and internships in partnership with our long-term teams on the field, so our short-term workers can be part of making a real, lasting impact while gaining experience.

The positions we offer also often satisfy college or seminary internship requirements.

What advice would you give to someone looking in an overseas direction?

First and foremost, pray! Commit your plans to God. Surrender your desires and ask him to take the lead as you seek him (er, more than your plans) and surround yourself with godly counsel.

The resources section of Christar’s website offers numerous pieces designed to help you sift through all this and get involved in ministry among the least-reached (booklets! Prayer Guides! Tips! Oh, my!), so make sure to check it out.

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