5 Steps you need to take if you want to be a great missionary
Being a great missionary doesn't just happen. You can't just board a plane and hope that you will be an awesome missionary when you land overseas. Being a great missionary takes time and effort. Follow these five steps and you will be well on your way to becoming a great missionary.
1) Surround yourself with a strong community
Being a great missionary abroad starts with having a great community at home. Most missionaries rely on support to make working on the mission field possible. You need two kinds of support to be a great missionary: financial and relational. Financial support is the obvious one; you need money to fund your service work overseas.
Relational support is equally important! You need the encouragement and camaraderie of friends and family at home to keep your spirits up. Mission work can be physically and emotionally draining, and relational support can go a long way in restoring your energy while you're abroad.
2) Learn about the culture you will live in
You can't be a great missionary if you don't know what the community's needs are. What are the economic conditions like? What is day-to-day life like for the average person? What do most people think about Jesus? Knowing the answers to questions like these will help you focus you efforts so that you are as effective as possible. Understanding the culture will also reveal how best to approach locals with the message of Jesus.
3) Commit to long-term impact
Great long-term missionaries commit to long-term solutions and impact. A long-term solution to a community's water problem may take months before it's a reality. Leading someone to Christ may take months (or years!) of conversations before he or she is ready to give their life to Christ.
Being a great missionary means understanding that things take time, and most lasting impact doesn't happen overnight.
4) Train under a missionary that has been there
Chances are, you won't be the first missionary in your destination country. If you can find a missionary that has been there, he or she will be more than willing to teach you what they have learned. How did they approach the community they ministered to? What types of projects did they undertake? Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Seeking wise counsel from a missionary that has been there can help fast-track you to being a great missionary.
5) Study what effective missions look like
Doctors study many years to be great at what they do. Business people spend years working in their industry before they become excellent. It's no different for missionaries. If you want to be a great missionary, there is no substitute for studying and firsthand experience. Many colleges offer missions programs and cross-cultural ministry programs, which can be pivotal as you prepare for international ministry. Studying and learning firsthand what effective missions look like is often the best step that you can take in your journey to be a great missionary.
Are you ready?
If God has put being a missionary on your heart, why would you pursue anything else? Begin to follow these five steps and you will be well on your way to becoming a great missionary.
Written by CJ