So God has you in a holding pattern, waiting on his timing for entry into missionary service. If you are jazzed about getting involved, waiting to “get there” can be hard. Waiting, however, should not be seen as a necessary evil to be endured or a waste of time. Remember that, as believers, we are to be about Kingdom business wherever God has us at the moment. Here are some suggestions for how to be involved now with God’s global cause. Most of these suggestions are probably ones you have heard before and should be involved with whether or not you are planning on cross-cultural work.
1. Focus on your own walk with Christ.
There are at least two reasons for this.
- It is through this relationship being evident in your life that others will be drawn to him.
- Going cross-cultural will test the very fiber of your commitment and relationship with God. You want your roots to go down as deep as possible in him and into his grace before you get there. Then as things get hard, and they will, you will have an assurance of nourishment that comes from within. There is something about going to church in a language you don’t understand that makes spiritual growth difficult, if you are not in the habit of feeding yourself.
2. Get involved in ministry at your local church.
Become “visible” to the membership at large. This is important in two ways.
- It will give you ministry experience, which is critical for use by God later.
- It will give you exposure to many who may feel led of God to join your prayer and financial support team.
3. Get very familiar with the mission’s leadership people at your church.
Make sure they know of your desire to do missions longer term (whatever that means to you). Join the missions committee, if possible, or be involved with them in some way.
4. Pray for the people groups that God is placing on your heart.
You are probably already doing this. Get “Operation World” and begin praying daily for different people groups. Pray for the work of the missionaries already there as well as for those who are trusting God in going.
5. Get involved with people of those nationalities in your area.
Find out where they are and what they do. Begin relationships and grow them. Whatever your ministry will be, it will include relationship building with host county people. As you get to know them let the Holy Spirit lead you to spiritual things in his way and in his time. It will be clear.
6. Engage with a mentor.
Find someone who can speak into your life about the real issues. Be intentional about this. Focus on being moldable and teachable. These two things are critical when getting involved in missions. You will be stepping into a life that you don’t know at all but where others have gone before you and can help you if you let them. Begin practicing now and a mentoring relationship is a great way to start.
7. Take a variety of Short Term mission trips
Gain perspective by going out to different places and explore some to your areas of interest.
8. Take the Perspectives Course
If you haven’t already, it’s a great way to take the time to learn and grow in your understandings of others.