Ways & How

how to become a missionary

how to become a missionary

Do you feel an inner compulsion to serve God in a specific capacity, to make His message known to other people who may have never heard about Him? Do you want to go and tell people about your God and how they can follow and serve Him? Do you have the urge to sacrifice whatever personal possessions, finances, or even relationships you have to do God’s will? Then you may be called to mission work. If so, you will benefit from knowing how to become a missionary. Being a missionary, especially to a foreign land, is difficult and fraught with risks. People are not very open to hearing about other faiths and religions. Some will take offense, or even worse, take lives. And yet you know in your heart, those are the very people who need God the most, and your heart is not at peace until you go and tell them about God. So there is that compulsion, that desire, that urge within you and it cannot be silenced. This is sometimes termed as a “calling.” The call may be sudden, as if you directly heard a voice audibly telling you to go, or it dawns on you slowly over some period of time.

may have been awakened when you heard someone speak in your church, or there was a challenge to go on a mission and in a burst of emotion you went forward. But emotion is not the same as the inner inclination to serve: emotion cannot sustain you over a period of time out in the mission field, but a calling will. This is why it is important to ascertain that you heard from God about going out to missions. Here are steps on how to become a missionary.

  1. Talk with your church leader about your desire to go on missions. Your church leader is usually the one most knowledgeable about missions and mission agencies. He or she can provide you with the best guidance about how to apply for missions. As your spiritual leader, he or she would also be the most informed about your preparedness and maturity for missions. And should your leader advise you to wait or think more about your intention, then you should not take such advice lightly.

  2. Prepare yourself for going out on missions. When God puts the burden in your heart to become a missionary, He will also reveal where you are called to serve Him. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be revealed all at the same time. Sometimes, the burden for a certain country or people comes first, then the call to serve; sometimes, the call comes first and the mission destination comes much later. But once you have decided that you are called to be a missionary, you should start preparing. You need to research the mission opportunities available, mission agencies you can affiliate with, and mission training you can attend.

    Here, the guidance of your church leader will be invaluable. You may also need to learn a foreign language and about the culture. If there are people of the same ethnicity or culture that you want to preach to near you, befriend those people and acquaint yourself with their culture on familiar soil. This will serve as sort of a halfway house and give you a taste of what it is like to actually live among them. Also, get to know other missionaries, especially those serving where you want to go. Learn all you possibly can from them so you have a better idea of what to expect, what to be ready for, and what not to do.

  3. Join a short-term mission outreach or exposure training. Try to test the waters, so to speak. Go out on a short mission trip so you can get a feel of actually being out on missions. Knowing and studying about a country or culture has its benefits, but nothing comes close to actually experiencing things out on your own. This is an educational and enlightening experience and one you should seriously consider before committing yourself fully.

  4. Raise up a network of supporters among family and friends who can pray for you, give you moral, emotional, and financial support, and minister to you when you are away on mission. You cannot do this alone. You need help, guidance, and support, and you must find it among people who care for you and are invested in your efforts and well-being. It is important that your church family backs you up and that there is a sending mission agency that will act as your overseer.

In sum, God is the one who calls us to missions. He will make His will known to you and will open up opportunities for you. Once the way is clearly available, you go from learning how to become a missionary to actually becoming one. You should go with the assurance of God’s protection and blessing.


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