Many churches have a “missions emphasis month” each year, and you may have been inspired to explore a role in missions. Here are a few questions that you may find helpful to work through as you consider how you might serve.
1. Where do I fit in missions?
What is your motivation to serve in missions? What captures your heart about reaching other ethnic groups with the good news? Not entirely sure where you might fit? Two courses which might help clarify your understanding of missions and how you could serve:
Kairos course – a nine-session course that will help you understand God's purpose for every cultural group in the world.
Perspectives course – a fifteen-session discipleship course to give Christians a bigger view of God and His purposes, and to equip them to fulfil their individual role within those purposes.
2. What are some potential issues that might get in the way?
Some common issues might be finances, family concerns or personal struggles. You may have questions about what further education or skills training you might need. It may help to write down your questions and concerns and share them with a trusted friend or mentor. Ask them to pray with you to discern God’s guidance in these areas. Perhaps you could seek advice from an experienced missionary in your church.
3. Should I talk to my church pastor or missions leader yet?
Participating in missions with your church is a good way to gain experience, and receive support and encouragement. Leaders in the church will be able to guide you in your journey.
Getting involved will also help you understand your church’s approach to missions. Some churches prefer to work with mission agencies, while others prefer to send missionaries directly. Churches also have different views on the types of ministries they are willing to support, and whether they will support bi-vocational missionaries.
4. Should I approach a missions agency yet?
You may want to start thinking about the type of ministry, the region or country or people group, and whether the ministries of a specific missions agency particularly resonate with you. You probably won’t have all the answers (or any answers!) at this early stage, but it’s good to start exploring.
As a start, you could start attending events or prayer meetings organised by various mission agencies, or subscribe to their newsletters and social media postings. See what stirs your heart! Also, many mission agencies have mentoring groups for people interested in missions, and also organise mission trips which you could join.
5. What if I decide that I don’t want to be a missionary?
Not everyone is called by God to be a cross-cultural missionary. But all of us are called to play a part in God’s mission in some way – perhaps your role is to support missionaries in the field by praying for them, supporting them financially, or in other practical ways. By having asked the questions and thought through these issues, you will have a deeper understanding of missions and be a better supporter of those called to serve overseas.