“Being a missionary is just one of many many ways to serve the Lord and build His Kingdom. It certainly isn’t the only way. Still, and I’m extremely biased, it’s definitely a great way to serve.”
Silk Road Mission exists to recruit, train, send, and support missionaries to the peoples, nations, and communities along the Silk Road. It’s my ambition to see a new generation of missionaries raised up to take the name of Jesus Christ to places He has not been named. His name will one day be praised by every tribe and tongue. I want to be a part of what the Lord is doing and I hope you do too.
This post is the first of ten that will lay out the life cycle of missionary service. Whether you are simply exploring the idea or have already chosen an agency, these posts are meant to encourage and inform you. Let me know below if they helped in anyway!
Prayer must be the beginning and end of it all.
This could apply to all of the Christian life. Prayer is a lifeline to the Lord and a spiritual discipline to be cultivated both at home and on the field. Far too many Christians go through life only praying when the walls are falling down. When all is going their way, being on their knees is a foreign concept. Prayer is an emergency measure not a continual practice.
If this is reality for you then I encourage you to take stock of your faith. What do you believe and why? Who do you believe in? When did you start believing? How does that belief play out in your everyday life? These questions can help you get a baseline. Ultimately, turn to Scriptures. In Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, he gives some final instructions. Among what was written, Paul says to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thes. 5:16-18) In all situations, we are to pray continually.
2. God’s will is already clear. Ask for the courage to obey.
I’m not trying to shame you. I promise. In fact, I can attest that I have often prayed this prayer in the past. Who hasn’t? “Lord, will you please reveal your will to us/me? Show us your will oh God. Tell me what I should do!”
We are so caught up in this mythical and mystical idea of “God’s Will for your life” that we miss his revealed will in Scripture. Christ says that the two Greatest Commandments are to love the Lord God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength as well as our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12). Then, later He gives us the Great Commission in Matthew 28. Putting these together, you could get a statement like this:
The will of God for us is to love Him with every part of out being, love others as we love ourselves, tell others about God’s love for us, and to go to teach others about what He has taught us.
The problem isn’t understanding God’s will. The problem is in obeying it. That is difficult. So, in your journey to becoming a missionary, don’t ask for God to reveal His will. He’s already done that. Ask Him to give you courage to obey it.
3. Show God gratitude in prayer.
When was the last time your thanked the Lord for saving you? When was the last time you showed gratitude for a simple meal or for the clothes you wear? I’ll admit, sometimes I go entirely too long taking these things for granted. The funny thing is, when I express gratitude to God for these things I enjoy Him and not the things more. I also mean real gratitude not a quick “Thanks for the food!” prayer. In our very busy lives it’s hard to carve out time. I think it’s important to do so though.
Christ always found time to get away and pray. Let that serve as an example for us. We will never be as busy or in demand than the God-Man yet even he went to pray alone with the Father. I challenge you to stop reading this and take a few minutes and thank Him for something in your life today.
4. Seek growth in your relationship with the Lord.
Being a missionary is just one of many many ways to serve the Lord and build His Kingdom. It certainly isn’t the only way. Still, and I’m extremely biased, it’s definitely a great way to serve. That said, it’s incredibly difficult and requires both forethought and oversight. If your relationship with Christ is suffering, it won’t be the best time to make the leap to missions. I’m not saying that you must be a perfect Christian, just a growing one.
Growing Christians are both learning from others and teaching others. They submit themselves to the expository teachings of the pastor that God has placed over them for that season. They then in turn offer to teach the Word of God to others in an expository way. Scripture is to be the focus and not experience.
Look for those willing to invest in you and for those you may invest in. Be faithful with the little that God entrusts to your care. No matter what the opportunity, take it. Nursing home ministry is how I got my start and to this day I have a soft spot for the elderly. For some, it’s kids or teens. Others, it’s serving in a behind the scenes way. Find your ministry in the season you’re in and serve faithfully.
I’ll end this with a personal anecdote: my journey to the field began with a prayer getaway on a mountain. Seeing a sight that led me to the worship of God and to a reflection on His majesty. You don’t have to climb a mountain to begin your own missions journey. Simply turn to the Lord in prayer and begin the work of praising Him, thanking Him, and asking Him to help you obey His will. Then be amazed at how He responds.
My name is Kenneth and I pray that the Lord bless you and keep you, that He make His face shine upon you and give you peace.
I will see you in the next installment of “10 Steps to Becoming a Missionary”!