Honest Answers About Missions

Has God been putting something on your heart? Are you curious about missions opportunities? Or are you just wanting to consider this whole missions thing? Take some time and read through these questions and their honest answers about missions.

Beginning the Journey

Here are some frequently asked questions for those starting to think about going into missions:

Do you want to get involved but are overwhelmed by the need? The need is so great and we are so small, what can we do? How do we choose where to focus our small amount of resources?
Does God want me to be a mission (or cross cultural) worker? This is a good question but it is the wrong question. You should be asking, “How does God want me to carry out the Great Commission?
If God wants me to serve in missions, where do I start? This is a great question. So you think that God is leading you to consider some kind of cross-cultural work. With this article you have found a good place to begin!
Where does God want me to go? Mobilizers of the missions force often let their passion to see more harvesters in the harvest field push them to lay a guilt trip on believers who don’t sense the same urgency.
Should I join a mission agency? I was recently asked by a candidate, strongly considering cross-cultural work somewhere, for the reasons why someone would join an agency.
What if I miss God’s leading toward missions? This is a great question and one that many deal with and that leads to the question: “What if I say ‘no’?”
What ingredients are needed to be a successful, healthy, long-term mission worker? This is a great question, one that we think everyone should be asking who is considering getting involved in cross-cultural work. In short we might answer major on the majors and don’t sweat the details; but, that seems a little simplistic and not very helpful so here are some deeper thoughts we have to consider.

Planning for the Finances

Here are some frequently asked questions about the practical costs of going into missions:

Why do I have to raise financial support? Probably the biggest hurdle for anyone considering mission involvement today is the necessity of raising financial support. With the cost of living and ministry increasing, financial support minimums of $4000 to $8000 per month are not uncommon.
Why do Mission Agencies Charge Overhead Fees? One of the most frustrating things about raising financial support is often the amount of money that missions agencies place on top of the amount you need to raise for life and ministry in your target country. Have you considered the cost of missions?
What can I do about school debt? As you can imagine (or are experiencing), debt is crippling on many levels. The mission enterprise is no exception. It seems that nearly every candidate I talk with asks me about how to handle their school loans in light of a God-given passion to engage the world for the kingdom.
Where does the money go? This is a significant question, well deserving of an honest answer. For certain, those who have chosen to partner with an agency along the mission path have come to understand the reasons for the cost and have, at least, accepted it to be part of their walk of faith.
Is the expense of North American mission workers worth it? Why send very expensive North American mission workers to other countries when direct financing of local Christian ministries can accomplish so much more with less?
Can I avoid raising support if I am a “tentmaker?” This is a question that I get asked more and more frequently. The reasons go beyond just a reluctance to raise funds. The short answer is “yes” and “no.”

Preparing to Go Overseas

Here are some frequently asked questions about practical things to consider before moving overseas or living in a different culture:

What can I do while waiting on God? So God has you in a holding pattern, waiting on his timing for entry into mission service. If you are jazzed about getting involved, waiting to “get there” can be hard.
What is “culture shock?” Nearly everyone serving in missions, at some time in their first year to two of service, comes to the bottom of themselves, and usually, it is not a pretty place. They feel alone, even abandoned.
Where will my kids go to school? Wondering how your children will be well educated is a worthy concern.
Will your kids be OK if you raise them overseas? ABSOLUTELY! (as much as any other kid anyway)

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