Would you have matched up to Hudson Taylor’s requirements for missionaries?

What do you look for in leaders when you are trying to build a team? Skills such as planning, communication, fundraising? What about character traits: honesty, diligence, integrity? What about education: degrees, courses, accreditations?

What about spiritual requirements? Some organizations mention them but most do not. You would think they should, considering the work they are engaged in.

Amy Carmichael, John Wesley, Hudson Taylor and others were very selective about the leaders they worked with. Here are some of Hudson Taylor’s requirements for missionaries:

While thankful for any educational advantages that candidates may have enjoyed, we attach far greater importance to spiritual qualifications. We desire men and women who believe that there is God and that He is both intelligent and faithful, and who therefore trust Him; who believe that He is the Rewarded of those who diligently seek Him, and are therefore people of prayer. Men and women who are prepared, to go to the remotest parts of the interior of China. We desire men and women who believe in eternity and live for it.

And then he is more direct when he says:

If you want hard work and little appreciation; if you value God’s approval more than you fear man’s disapprobation; if you are prepared to take joyfully the spoiling of your goods and seal your testimony, if need be, with your blood; if you can pity and love the poor Chinese in all their mental and moral degradation, as well as literal filth and impurity, you may count on a harvest of souls now and a crown of glory hereafter ‘that fadeth not away’ and on the Master’s ‘well done.’If, after prayerfully considering the matter, you still feel drawn to engage in such work, I shall be only too glad to hear from you again.

Would I qualify for this job? Would you? These are high standards indeed.

For more on Hudson Taylor, click here for info on how to order Going Forward on Your Knees: Lessons from the Life of Hudson Taylor. Joanna Williamson has a passion for mentoring female leaders to become mentors for a new generation. She is a founding director of One Rock, a board member of Renovare UK, and an associate lecturer at Oasis College. In her spare time she loves taking photographs of nature, and playing with her cat Chester.