I am so glad that you are interested in going some where in this world to carry the gospel message. This is one of the greatest things that you could ever do with your life. This post has the purpose of helping you get ready to go. You should be asking yourself if you are really prepared. Here is a list of questions to think about. It will give you a sort of work sheet of what you can be doing to get ready to go where ever God wants you to go.
Please know that being saved and called to the mission field is not enough. You need to be prepared. All my life I have heard people say that “A call to preach is a call to prepare.” This list will help you do just that.
1.Do you place a great deal of importance on the ministry God has called you to do. Are you willing to pay whatever price to be greatly used of God?
A call of God is not to be taken lightly. Serving God is far more important than serving any human. While they serve temporary needs we meet eternal needs. While they deal with things that are far more trivial you are dealing with the weightier things of life.
No one should enter the ministry because they “couldn’t” do anything else. No one should enter the ministry because they have failed at everything else. God doesn’t call the left overs. So if you are not able and willing to give the very best you have then you have no business being in the ministry.
If you are called. If you do realize the importance of your calling then you should be prepared to take the time to read this list and begin truly working on it. The ministry shouldn’t be taken any more lightly than being a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist. It is embarrassing to see the light way “men of God” treat the calling God has given them.
2.What educational preparation have you had to do the ministry?
Have you studied? Have you prepared well to open the Bible and share its truths with others. If you have not read your Bible through at least 10 times from cover to cover I, personally, dont think you should even consider starting in full time ministry. If you do not have more than a basic understanding of the Scriptures it is time to enroll in a Bible College or Training Center.
Sunday School and church are not enough. Having gone through basic discipleship is not enough. This is important business. It shouldnt be taken lightly.
3.How many people have you personally led to Christ?
You are going to travel now around the world and tell people how to trust Christ. You are going to explain the gospel. Going over seas is not the answer to being a servant of Christ. If you do not share the gospel here then you will not share it there. If you haven’t seen anyone trust Christ here what confidence do you have that you will be able to do it overseas? Do you really think that a different environment and a salary will give you the ability to do the work of God?
-In your preaching ministry?
Has God blessed when you preached and allowed you to see people come to Christ? Have people been saved as they listened to you share the gospel? If not then find some places and start preaching. Watch and see if God blesses your ministry!
-In personal soul winning where you were the speaker not just the partner
Have you ever gone out and shared your faith with lost people? Have you ever put yourself in the tough position of asking questions that led to a discussion of eternal things, heaven and hell, life and death? If not then you need to go and share your faith. Laymen should share their faith. Regular people that attend church should share what God is doing in their lives and see people get saved. If you can’t share your faith on a personal level then you do not need a ministry that calls on you to do just that.
4.How many people have you personally discipled from the new birth to full dedication and service and are now serving God faithfully in your local church?
Have you been used of God in your church to see people begin learning the basic things of Christ? I am not talking about people that were already in church but those that have never been to church. Have you helped someone grow in the Lord from salvation till they are faithfully serving in your church?
If we were to ask them would they say that you were the person that showed them how to grow in the Lord. Are they in church, giving, praying, serving and would see you as someone that influenced them and helped them grow in the Lord?
-This can involve a classroom setting but means a person that you personally were the principal discipler or trainer and the pastor and the person would acknowledge your principal and direct role in that person’s life
The point is has God used you and your ministry to raise up some to serve God. You want to know that God is at work in and through you. So when you look back can you see what He has done. Have you truly had a principal and direct role in someone’s spiritual growth. If not then it is time to begin testing your weapons and make sure that you are being used of God.
This can not be an imagined involvement. If the person doesn’t acknowledge you as playing a crucial role then you haven’t. The key is to get to work helping as many people as you possibly can.
-This means taking them through at least the minimum Bible truths and seeing them become faithful follower of Jesus Christ involved in the ministry of your local church in some type of leadership role
So it starts with sharing the gospel and then getting them involved in church but it is much more than that. It means teaching them the basics of the Christian life. It means helping them understand who they are in Christ. It means that you have some sort of systematic way of showing them how to grow. This is a big job. They need to know from the Bible what it means to be saved. They need to understand how their salvation is secure in what Jesus did on the cross. They need to know what words like redemption, reconciliation, atonement, justification, imputation, and many more mean.
The more they know the Bible the more they will grow. They more they know the Bible the less problem they will have doubting what God has done. Get the Word of God into them so that it makes a life time difference.
-How many have you discipled or influenced that are now in full time ministry or on their way to being in full time ministry?
It is important to get people to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. It is important to get them into church and being faithful to God. But more important is helping them grow and then seeing God put them into the ministry. As a missionary you will need to see people grow into full time service. You will need to see men and women serving God full time in the ministry.
So let’s see God do it now. Going across the sea will not make you a missionary. There are no special things that are going to happen to you just because you get on an airplane, fly to a different country, even learn another language. You are who you are. You can do what you can do. So now is the time to see God use you.
Without a doubt you can learn later but you will be better off, less frustrated, and happier if you can learn before you arrive on the field.
So the question we are attempting to answer is, Are you prepared for the mission field? It doesn’t matter where you are. You can get trained and prepared. So do not despair. Do not get discouraged. If you are on the field and feel like you aren’t ready then let’s work together to get you ready.
If you are not on the field then let’s work together now so you can avoid the frustration, the heartache, the despair that can come when you find your self lost in the deep blue sea of ministry and you have no idea in what direction to even begin rowing.
I will have several more articles about this subject. I want to help you. Do not get discouraged. How about we start by studying some special subjects. Start with this book Mentoring for Mission. If you have not read it then you need to get it right now. Get started in your own personal study of the Bible.
How many times have you read it from cover to cover? Do you currently write down at least one thing that you learn each day? Read enough to finish the Bible a couple of times a year. You can do that in less than 30 minutes a day. The Bible is the most important book that you can be reading and studying.
Do not read books about the Bible as much as you read the Bible. Find someone that can mentor you. They can be close or far away. I would suggest that you listen to the Leadership with Vision podcast. There are lots of lessons to be learned there.
Follow this blog. Read all the comments as the missionaries and students go over and discuss the content. Check out the Our Generation Training Center. Plan to come to the Summit and meet several of the missionaries that write on this blog. Learn all that you can.
Check back tomorrow for more on this subject. Leave your questions and your comments. Let’s talk. God bless you as you seek to serve Him.