The SOFM is a 3 month training program provided by YWAM Friends Network in Varanasi, India. The SOFM gives you the knowledge and the skills you need to be an effective minister of the gospel to any people group. Some of the topics covered are people group movements, language learning, pioneering, and planting house fellowships. We recommend doing the SOFM before the SHS as it gives some foundational skills and knowledge. It is not a requirement however.
Biblical: The Biblical Mandate and how it can keep you motivated in the long-term. Finding solid answers for the problem of evil in this world.
Historical: Lessons from the history of mission, so we can avoid past mistakes.
Cultural: How to reach cross-culturally? How to find positive things In Cross-Culture challenges?
A)Discipling the unreached in ways that can multiply (including how to help them learn to feed from the word, to start house fellowships, and to make the next generation of disciples)
B) How to coach local nationals.
C) Worldviews of major religions of the world (Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist) and how to start and nurture movements to Christ in those environments.
D) Skills in mobilizing short term visiting teams effectively.
E) How to develop a viable role and a visa strategy that works for you through:
- Effective service to the poor through NGOs, e.g. developing schooling options for children from disadvantaged families, or getting involved in poverty, justice, or gender issues.
- Realistic business in missions strategies.
- Reaching the university community by becoming a student or teacher in universities where believers are less than 1%.
- Making disciples while learning the language effectively.
- Using storytelling, arts, music, and media development to communicate the good news.
F) Member Care: Team Building, developing long-term financial and prayer support, insurance, Sabbath rests, preparing for retirement, mission and marriage life etc.
Practical Ministries Opportunities:
During the SOFM there will be opportunities for you to be involved in these types of ministries and to learn from experienced field workers in these areas. The schedule does not only include classroom training, but many practical ministries opportunities for you to explore and apply what you are studying.