Tips for Becoming a Missionary
Working as a full-time missionary is hard.
The hours are long. You don’t get paid much. People judge you for buying a new TV. People judge you for buying anything, really.
So why would you want to do it?
Because the rewards can’t be measured in dollars. Following God’s plan for your life, no matter how difficult it is, is the best thing you can do with your time on earth. “The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few.” Matt. 9:37 ESV
- Do you want to be a laborer for God’s Kingdom?
- How do you get started becoming a missionary?
Let’s look at 6 tips for Becoming a Missionary and why it’s all worth it
Get Out of Debt
Let’s face it, full-time missionary jobs don’t pay well. Money is always going to be tight and having debt payment burdens will only make it worse.
It’s hard enough to get out of debt when you’re working a well-paying job. Even more so on a missionary’s salary. Make it a goal to pay off all your debts before you begin missionary work. (Or don’t go into debt in the first place.)
Some people might think anybody with a Bible can be a missionary. But, in reality, there is a lot of preparation that goes into becoming a missionary.
Mission boards/churches aren’t interested in sponsoring just anyone to go out into the field. They want to ensure that they send out people well-equipped for the task.
To that end, many organizations require that you as a candidate have a college degree. You don’t necessarily have to have the degree in Bible, though. The point is to see that you are determined enough and have enough self-discipline to finish what you start.
Many missionaries also ply a trade, not just preach the Bible. They may be schoolteachers, construction workers, doctors, nurses, etc. In that case, you will need to have the schooling/experience you need to perform your job.
If you’re planning to go to a foreign country, you’ll need to learn the language. Get started on this as soon as you possible. You will pick it up faster once you’re immersed in the culture. But if you lay the groundwork first, it will be a whole lot easier.
Find a Church/Missions Organization
A big step to being successful at becoming a missionary is to find a church or missions organization to back you. You’ll need resources and we’re not just talking about money.
Missionary work is hard, sometimes lonely, work. You’ll have a greater chance at success if you have a support team behind you.
Talk to your pastor. Address the church and tell them about your plans and ask for prayer. Find a mentor, preferably someone who has been a missionary. There will be dark days when you’ll need someone to talk to for encouragement.
Online devotionals and other resources like those offered by David Servant can also be helpful. Missionaries can sometimes feel lonely and/or discouraged and staying in the Word will keep you fueled.
You also should study where you want to go. Spend some time on the Internet researching different locations. Some organizations don’t give you a choice, but some do.
God may make this easy for you and lay a location in your heart, maybe even when He first called you. Or He may wait and let you figure it out on your own. As we all know, He works differently with each person.
Study the Culture
Once you know where you’d like to go/will be sent take some time to study the culture. Culture shock is a real thing and something that you should prepare yourself for. You can offend people by committing a faux pas without even knowing it.
Make no mistake, no amount of study can really prepare you for living in a new culture. You’ll still make mistakes and say stupid stuff, but people will appreciate the effort you put into it and be more willing to overlook your mistakes.
Get Fit and Healthy
This last tip is a practical one. Missions work can be grueling, both mentally and physically. Finding a support team like we already talked about is a way to keep yourself mentally fit. Plus, God is there 24-7 whenever you need to pray or seek guidance.
But you should also be physically up to the task. If you don’t already have good habits, start making them. Get some exercise, eat healthy foods.
Many of your favorite (junk) foods may not be available in your new location anyway. If that’s the case, use it as motivation to find new favorites among healthier options.
Why Becoming a Missionary Is Absolutely Worth It
Why would you want to become a missionary? The job entails long hours of hard, often thankless, work. You certainly won’t get rich being a missionary…or will you?
There is more than one way to measure wealth. As a missionary, you’ll get to further God’s kingdom. You’ll be laying up treasure in heaven where it really counts.
Plus, it’s not like you’ll be hating your life. You’ll get to travel, meet new people, experience other cultures. All of these are rich life experiences that are worth far more than money.
You’ll be stretched and you’ll grow. You’ll learn more about yourself and go deeper in your walk with Christ.
Not to mention the fulfillment of watching people learn about and accept Jesus as their own personal Savior. What can compare with knowing that God has used you to help save even just one person’s eternal soul?
If you want fame and fortune, missionary work isn’t for you. But if you want a rich life and know that this is where God is calling you, missionary work is the only thing for you.
Have you decided that becoming a missionary is God’s plan for you? It won’t be easy. But with the right preparation and backing, you can enjoy a fulfilling career as a missionary.
For more great resources about life in general, be sure to check out our blog.