After being an example to His disciples and followers throughout the Gospel to continue as He did and make disciples in His name, Jesus Himself gave one final command before ascending to heaven – the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
As we dig deeper, we see that this command is for the Church at large. If you are a Christian, then you are called to go and make disciples. The “go” in this context implies that we are to make disciples really as we are going. This means that wherever God is leading you, you are called to be a living witness to the truth within you daily, whether you are called overseas or not.
Young people are active and engaged in our society. We are leading in innovation and doing amazing work. However, religion in this generation seems to be fading. This Pew Research report will demonstrate that our generation is increasingly led away not just from Christianity but religion entirely. This is why now we need more young Christians who are willing to take the next steps towards sharing the Gospel and serving others. If you are considering becoming a missionary, taking a mission trip, or simply want to share your faith with others around you, I hope the rest of this blog will serve as guided steps that will help you successfully reach others and plan your next steps.
This may seem simple, but it is critical to know you are hearing from God. Pray diligently for discernment, read God's Word, and finally ask for prayer from your pastor about where it is God may be calling you to. Having a humble spirit through prayer is better than having a useful skill as you enter new cultural contexts and allow God to work in and through you.
2) Talk to Someone Already There
If you are thinking about becoming a missionary or going on a mission trip, talk to someone who lives in the country you are going to about the culture. Learn what to expect from the culture, what to avoid, about living conditions, and more. When you enter a different culture you should not seek to change it, but adapt to live within it. We have to be humble and adapt otherwise we risk offending others over something unimportant and pushing them away.
3) Get A Passport or Visa in Advance
This is an obvious next step. Don’t wait until it is too late to get your passport and end up having to cancel your entire trip. If you do not have a passport, make sure you can get one in time at your local post office or another provider that will accept passport applications. If you already have a passport, check the expiration date and make sure that it is good for at least a recommended six months past your travel dates. The same methods apply for acquiring a visa if you know you will be living in another country. To acquire a visa, you may need to talk with the country’s embassy or apply for one online.
4) Talk with Your Physician/Get Vaccinations
Before visiting another country, you will be required to receive the appropriate vaccinations before entering the country. Plan a visit with your physician in advance before your trip to avoid having to get dozens of vaccinations at the same time.
5) Be Fully Funded Before You Go
Whether taking a mission trip or looking to serve full-time as a missionary, Global Outreach requires that our missionaries be fully funded before they leave. It is simply common sense. If you are needing to fundraise for a mission trip, talk with your church about potential funding or planning a fundraiser event. Talk to your family, friends, and people in your network who may be willing to support the work God will do through you while in the country you are visiting.
If you are planning on becoming a full-time missionary, study the cost of living and ministry expenses you will require to not only live but do ministry work. Plan above the cost you are expecting this to be and seek out ministry partners that will help you reach your goal of being fully funded. Being fully funded doesn’t mean having enough one-time donations that will last you for the first month. This means having enough monthly supporters to invest in you and to preferably have the first three months’ expenses already raised before leaving for the field. If you are not fully funded before you leave, it isn’t going to get easier to raise support once you are overseas.
Take your next step!
There are a lot of things to consider when going to the mission field, and this is why it is crucial to have a team backing you up through the process. If you are considering becoming a missionary, talk to mission specialist at Global Outreach. We have a team of experienced missionaries and ministry specialist that have served overseas and want to equip you to thrive wherever God may be calling you. Additionally, if your church wants to partner with a missionary serving overseas, we try our best to connect you to a Global Outreach missionary looking for people willing to serve and form deeper relationships.
Get in touch with us about becoming a missionary here: https://globaloutreach.org/long-term
Or inquire about a mission trip here: https://globaloutreach.org/mission-trips
Written by Blake Wages, Marketing Specialist for Global Outreach. www.globaloutreach.org