With the start of a new year, you’re probably inspired to make new goals and plans for the months ahead. Why not do the same for your missions journey? Here’s a checklist of questions to work through this year as you consider whether God is calling you into missions and the global Bible translation movement. You can click the checkbox next to an item when you complete it to help you keep track.
1. What is God’s mission and where do I fit into it?
Why are you considering missions in the first place? What captures your heart about BIble translation? By defining your motivation, understanding and passion, you are less likely to become distracted or derailed.
Not entirely sure where you fit into God’s mission? Check out the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course which takes you on an exciting, fascinating tour of God’s heart for the world and your place in it. Classes are local or online and many start in January.
2. What are some potential roadblocks or questions that I envision coming up?
Whether it’s family or financial concerns, educational needs or personal struggles, odds are that you can think of a few concerns or barriers that might stall your journey toward missions. What are they? What areas of your life might require God’s help and wisdom?
Consider writing these questions and concerns down and potentially even sharing them with a trusted friend. Pray through them, and be open if God is asking you to take a next step in resolving one or more.
3. Have I talked to my church pastor or trusted leader yet?
It is important to engage with your church early on in your missions journey in order to receive their wisdom, support and encouragement. Consider asking your pastor or church leader where and how they see you serving in missions and how the church wants to be involved.
4. Where, how and with whom do I want to serve?
What organization or agency do you want to serve with? What country or people group? What type of ministry are you most interested in? You don’t need to know all the answers at once; now is the time to start exploring!
To help jumpstart your brainstorming, here are our top 10 questions you should ask a missions organization before you join. Also consider watching some webinars to get a feel for different areas and roles.
5. Have I talked to a recruiter yet?
Our team of missions coaches and recruiters are your best resource to help you explore whether or not God is calling you to missions. We’ve found that the sooner someone starts talking to a recruiter, the faster he or she makes progress toward the next step. They can help you think about timing, training or education needs, connect you with our overseas partners so you can hear about teams and projects, and pray with you.
Not sure if you’re ready for missions at all? That’s okay! Our recruiters care about what is best for you and want to help you make that decision, even if it means not serving with Wycliffe. Chat with a recruiter.
6. What are my expectations and feelings surrounding finances?
Many missions organizations including Wycliffe provide salaries through a model called financial partnership. Your salary comes from gifts given to your ministry by friends, family, churches and other groups.
What concerns do you have? Make sure you are accurately informed by checking out five misconceptions of financial partnership, or get our resource on how to start preparing for partnership development.
7. How can I use my current skills or education in missions? What else do I need?
God uses people with all sorts of skills and passions in missions, from military service to homeschooling to grocery managers. What are you passionate about?
Depending on what you want to do or where you want to go, you might need further missions training. This could be as simple as a cross-cultural communication course or as lengthy as graduate school. But before you sign up for classes, be sure to talk to a recruiter. They can help you find the best path forward in the most efficient way possible.
8. How do I need to grow in my personal or emotional life?
Whatever challenges or weaknesses you face right now, you’ll also face on the mission field. Missions doesn’t get rid of those things and can even intensify them.
9. How am I engaging with missions and serving the nations right now?
As you consider a path in missions, how are you engaging with the nations right now? Perhaps there are ways you can support your missionary friends, help out on your missions team at church, pray for an unreached people group or serve with local ministries. Grow your passion and expand your knowledge of what God is doing in the world, and join him where he’s already working!
10. Where do I need to grow in my spiritual life this year?
Missionaries aren’t perfect people. Just like you, they’re on a journey with Christ. What’s the next step of that journey for you? Spend time in prayer, ask trusted advisers and consider watching our webinar about spiritual preparedness.
No matter which step you take in your missions journey, you can rest in the knowledge that God will guide you. We hope that these questions give you a good foundation for the rest of your journey!