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#14 How to Become a Missionary and Listener Questions -Podcast

Becoming a missionary may sound exotic and exciting but being a missionary is about a lot more than simply living in a foreign culture!

In this episode of Now is the Time I share with you six simple steps you can take to become a missionary.  I also answer some listener questions.

Check out the podcast on iTunes and while you’re there don’t forget to leave a rating and review!
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Thank you Elizabeth for this great question!

How can I become a missionary?

1. Make sure you know what a missionary is

Sometimes people are attracted to missions because of the promise of traveling the world and living in strange lands. If you just want to do that then you’re better off taking a job as a National Geographic photographer!

A missionary is one who is sent by God and the church to make disciples in another country or culture.

Before I became a missionary I read John Piper’s classic book Let the Nations be Glad . Piper does a great job explaining not only the what of missions but more importantly the why of missions.

2. Start doing the work of a missionary now

If you want to be successful as a missionary then you can’t afford to wait until you arrive on the “mission field” to start making disciples!
All followers of Jesus are called to do the work of a missionary, some are called to do it in a foreign land!
Once you are in a foreign culture and dealing with a new language, new traditions, new laws, new foods and a myriad of other new things, making disciples will be ten times harder! However, if you start learning the skill of discipleship now it will serve you well no matter where in the world you live.

3. Determine your calling

There will be times when you will doubt your calling, times when you will wonder if God ever really led you to the mission field. That’s why it’s important that you determine your calling now!
Take a look at your life and ask yourself these questions.
  • What opportunities for services has God given me?
  • What skills has God blessed me with?
  • What advice do I hear from godly people who know me?
  • What passions is God developing in my heart?
Often my answering these questions it makes it easier for us to see the bigger picture and determine where God is leading and to what he is calling us.

4. Get training

I wasn’t a big fan of Bible college and  seminary years ago when I started, however I knew that I needed something. The longer I was in school the more I realized the important role in preparation it played.
The type of training you’ll need will depend on where you’ll be serving and what ministry you’ll be doing.
I recommend that you check out Shasta Bible College and Corban School of Ministry (my alma maters)

5. Find a partnering organization

Going alone is tough and not always the wisest decision. There are many benefits of serving with an organization that will support you both spiritually and help you in practical ways.
Christina and I serve with ABWE (Association of Baptist for World Evangelism) It is a mission agency with high standards, a deep commitment to God’s Word and the Church and a desire to show God’s love through preaching of the Gospel to all people.
I can not imagine serving in a foreign country without the aid of a quality agency like ABWE!

6. Raise needed support

This probably deserves its own post or podcast! Most missionaries need to raise support before leaving for the field. However, some are self supported through a business.

Listener questions

  • Ray asked: “I have a question. I just read in the Wall St. Journal about catacombs under Odessa. How come no one offered to show them to me when I was there?”
  • Chastity asked: “Are there any seminary/college classed you took to prepare?”
  • Erik asked: “I would like to know the differences you see between the churches in U.S. (while you are here now) and the Ukraine.”
  • Juliano asked: “What think you about the church’s investments in missions? Maybe praying, financial help, etc.”
  • Giles asked: “Did you watch or keep up with the #StrangeFire conference thing? What is it & what did you think of it?”

Question: What would you add to my 6 steps to become a missionary?

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I am a pastor, missionary, and preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Ukraine since 2007. God blessed me with a wonderful wife and 5 amazing children! My greatest passion is to teach, encourage, and exhort others to turn to Jesus, who is Savior, Lord, and God!

  • Good thoughts Caleb. I’ve read Piper’s book – it’s Excellant! Looking forward to listening to this podcast.

    • It is a good book! Let me know what you think after you’ve had a chance to listen. I was struggling to find a place to record now that we are in the States and ended up recording this podcast sitting in our car. It was the only quiet place I could find! I hope the audio quality is ok.

  • Doing distant missionary work is probably not in my near future as I just bought a house, but local missions are always a good option. I’ll be volunteering at Union Gospel Mission’s Madison House for youth today.

    • Sounds like a great opportunity for ministry at the Union Gospel Mission Dan.

  • I couldn’t begin to give any examples of what it might take to be a missionary. I do agree with your point that it starts exactly where God has placed our feet today.

    • That really is key Floyd. Too many of us are waiting for that one opportunity to begin ministering when most often it is right in front of us.

  • I don’t have any thing to add to your list. I like what you say about everyone is a missionary somewhere. We are not all called to go to a different country, but we are all called to be lights right where we are.

    Love your questions in #3, very helpful.

    God bless.

    • Very true, we have to start right here and right now and then if God leads us to another place, great and if not then we just keep doing what he’s called us to do!

      • Well said! How are the kids liking it here?

        • The kids are enjoying themselves! Of course we are living with grandma and grandpa so you can’t get much better!

          • Yep. My kiddo loves his Mimi and Grandma! (all Grandpa’s are in heaven).

  • Betty Draper

    I think you covered the important points about “being a missionary” with the key one being number 3 in my book. One word comes to mind as I write. Flexibility is important in serving the Lord anywhere. He does not live by our time, anytime the situation presents itself to share is His time. Great post brother, very informative.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more about flexibility, it’s so important, that and patience will get you a long way.

    • Flexibility can be difficult for Americans as many of us are used to a more structured way of life. There are a lot of ministry opportunities that can happen if you are simply flexible.

  • Hazel Moon

    It is important to be a “missionary” where you are in the present time. Having a heart for souls and missions then you will be able to bless and minister to others.

    • Very true Hazel, thanks for sharing!