Children, youth, and family worker | Thailand

  • Service term length or program: Long-term
  • Region of service: Asia
  • Location: Thailand
  • Ministry category: Children at risk, Leadership training, Pioneer witness

Every EMM worker's primary focus is to make disciples of Jesus. Work with the Life Enrichment Church (LEC) — a Thai-Issan house church network in northeast Thailand — in giving leadership to developing the church’s ministry to the children, youth, and families of their districts. Engage with other possible avenues of ministry, such as working for child abuse prevention and rescue or broader involvement with the LEC. Position is suitable for an individual, couple, or family interested in serving multiple terms. An initial three- to four-year minimum commitment is required for focused language and culture study.

Regional vision
We focus on making disciples who make disciples with the goal of forming vibrant and multiplying communities of worship and mission among the various people groups of Southeast Asia. We use business and teaching as an entry platform in some of the sensitive locations in our region.   


  • Begin by engaging in extensive language and culture learning. Growth in proficiency will continue for the entire time of service, but special attention will be given to these skills in the first term.
  • Learn to know the people and culture of the Life Enrichment Church, and the larger cultural and social issues that LEC members face. Children, youth, and families are in crisis on a large scale, with abuse, drugs, and neglect being very common.
  • Working together with LEC leaders, give leadership to the development of a ministry focused on children, youth, and families. The goal is that any such ministry would be owned and sustained by the local church.
  • Train and support other adults within LEC who want to be involved.
  • Explore other avenues of ministry, including but not limited to working in child abuse protection and rescue, and broader involvement with LEC.

All long-term and short-term missionaries engage in Launch, EMM’s discipleship training course, before and during their assignments. Phase one of Launch includes personal discipleship activities through online modules. For phase two of Launch, participants spend one to two weeks learning alongside their Launch cohort (a group of others preparing for service) before heading to their outreach locations. In phase three of Launch, workers continue to connect online with their Launch cohort for up to a year as they navigate ministry in their country of service.

Life Enrichment Church (LEC) is a network of house churches in a sprawling rural area that includes Det Udom, in which Christians represent less than 0.2% of the population. Following initial language study, the children, youth, and family worker will most likely be based in Det Udom, while traveling frequently to villages and districts where LEC house churches are located. Det Udom is a "district town" — not a village or a city — drawing people from a large rural area for banking, shopping, medical care, etc. It’s an hour away from the provincial capital, where a wider range of goods and services are available (including expat imports, airport, train station, hospital, etc.). The weather is hot year-round. Living spaces have less distinction between “inside” and “outside” than in Western culture.

Supervisors and colleagues
This person will work with leaders and lay people in the Life Enrichment Church, including EMM team leaders Mark and Sarah Schoenhals, receiving some supervision both from Mark and Sarah and from LEC leadership. Regular check-ins will be coordinated with EMM Regional Representative Ryan Umble.

Skills and experience
Applicants must have experience in working with children and youth. At least one year of cross-cultural experience is preferred. While not required, background in social work and/or trauma healing would be helpful. A willingness to adjust to a simpler, less comfortable lifestyle is needed, as is the ability to take initiative and give leadership in a setting where there are many unknowns. Driving will be necessary for this role, so applicants will need to get a Thai driver’s license. Applicants should willingly and openly address and work through conflict with others, work well in a team setting, and be open to correction and feedback. Applicants should have a consistent, viable prayer life, and be able to take initiative for personal needs and self-care. They must be open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit — to hearing and responding to what God is saying on a regular basis.