I have had several visits from people, individuals and couples, regarding serving cross-culturally as missionaries. I love it! I’ve had several more hallway conversations with people that have had questions about the same. I think it is time to take a closer look at the journey toward serving cross-culturally as a missionary. You might be thinking at this point, “Well, I’m not called so this is not relevant to me.” If that’s you, then click here – then come back here and continue reading this entry.
Now that we’ve got that settled, let’s take a look at a few action verbs:
I know what you’re thinking: “Well, duh?!” Here’s the question, though: Are you? Begin to pray for the world. Ask God to move among the nations. Psalm 2:8 says, “Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage (NIV: inheritance), and the ends of the earth your possession.” Jesus was moved when He said in Matthew 9:38, “…pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” There is much that could be said about just these two verses – suffice it to say that God wants us to ask Him to move among the nations. Funny thing, though: When we ask Him to touch the lost world, He let’s us know that He wants to work though us to answer our own prayer! Colossians 1:9 is a great verse to pray through. We pray, “God, do you want to use my one life to impact the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ?” He says, “I thought you’d never ask.” God wants you to know His direction – ask Him to guide you!
The more information you have about the world, how much God loves the people in it and how He wants to use you to reach it, the more you want to be actively involved in reaching it!
Talk with people who have served cross-culturally. You will find that “missionaries are real people too!” They can offer you valuable insight as you set out on your quest to invest your life in impacting the nations!
Are you active in sharing your faith in your current context? No? Are you discipling anyone in an intentional way? No? What makes you think you do that in another context if you’re not doing it now? It’s a really good question.
This is fun! Read tons! Here are a few suggestions:
- The Bible! Look for God’s heart for the nations – it’s there, believe me!
- Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret, by Howard Taylor
- Shadow of the Almighty and Through Gates of Splendor, by Elisabeth Elliot on the life of Jim Elliot
- Let the Nations Be Glad and Don’t Waste Your Life, by John Piper
- Operation World, by Patrick Johnstone (great resource for praying)
Web pages of sending organizations and good info on going:
A couple of other great websites for you to check out have to do with people groups and global research that focuses on the status of Christianity and lostness:
A call to go is a call to prepare – to get ready. A good way to get an idea of how you might need to prepare is to check the requirements of the sending agency you are drawn to. Many require an undergraduate degree plus at least 20 hours of Bible courses. Better to know this before you begin making plans!
Here are a few other considerations:
- If you are a college student, make sure your educational work will qualify you for service. While internships with some organizations are good (especially if you are to work with the same organization), verify that the work will “check the block” with the agency you aspire to go to the field with.
- Be patient in your preparation. No need to short-circuit your work long-term just because you are in a rush to get to the field.
- Aspire to work in areas that pose security risks and tend to require a “platform” to enter the country? Your educational record might open or shut doors. Plan your studies carefully.
The ever-popular phrase from Nike holds true: Just Do It! I used to work with a company called Fontaine Truck Equipment Company, which had a branch distribution system. We had a general manager of one of our branches that put it this way: “If you don’t start something, you won’t have something!” Not good grammar but it communicates! Start!
Finally, let’s talk. Give me a call or drop me an email about your desire to allow God to use you to impact the world! I never grow tired of having those conversations and helping people get on track to serve the world!
To the nations!