How do I discover the country or people group God is leading me to serve?

“Watch four mission mobilizers answer this question and several others.”

The GOer Group videos are a free seven-lesson series addressing the major questions and barriers many encounter as they pursue cross-cultural ministry.

Each video features insights and advice from experienced people who have either spent time on the mission field or have helped many people to get there. Though speaking to college students, many issues come up for those of all ages.

In this video, mobilizers Amy, Todd, Andy, and Steve address several questions:

1. How do you figure out where to go?
2. What are people groups?
3. Is there a “missionary call”?
4. Is going the only way to be involved in missions?

“Consider countries with the greatest need.”

Jesus is doing amazing things in an amazingly desperate world. I encourage you to look overseas, where, just about any way you put it, the need is much greater than in the West.

Nutrition. A homeless person in Los Angeles gets more calories of quality food per day than the average person in Calcutta.

Justice. Fifteen million children are sold into sexual slavery each year, primarily in Asia.

Access to the gospel. There are more Bibles, Christian books, and radio stations in North America than we know what to do with. You are never more than a mile from a church in any city in the USA. Jesus is doing amazing things in an amazingly desperate world.

Answer from Jack Voelkel, missionary-in-residence with the Urbana Student Mission Convention; originally published on the Urbana website. Previously, Jack served thirty years with Latin America Mission in Peru and Colombia. Find other answers and articles from Jack and others on the Urbana blog.

“Get exposure to a number of cultures.”

Get experience with and exposure to other cultures via visits overseas or inner city time in your own country. Ask the Lord to help you determine what kind of people you seem to be attracted to.

I was always attracted to the Latin culture (and my best friends in the United States were always Latins) and then it dawned on me that since I wanted to be a missionary I should naturally go to a place where I would have a real love for the people. In the last few years, I find myself attracted to the rural Indian people of western Honduras. So, I feel that God may be leading me to focus on them.

Answer from Patrick, who has been a missionary for eight years in Honduras.

“Follow your heart and how God has prepared you.”

As I considered the idea of full-time service, the factor that helped me decide was reflecting on how God had prepared me, personally, to serve.

As a missionary kid (MK) for fifteen years, I had learned the language and the culture of an area in which there was still a great need for workers. When the Lord provided a wife who was similarly prepared (another MK), the decision was final.

Follow your heart and your preparation. If you are not prepared yet, seek God’s prompting. Consider the languages you have learned, the people you have met from other countries, those willing to be your teammates, and any facility you have with language and culture learning.

All these questions, and many more, need to be answered and analyzed as you consider the task ahead. There are many open fields around the world. Each of us is fitted for at least one of them.

My wife and I followed the Lord’s call to a major metropolitan center. We are still seeking his guidance and can see how he has prepared us to work in this very different set of circumstances. Don’t be dissuaded by obstacles. If God wants you to go, he’ll help you overcome them.

Answer from Paul, who has served as a missionary for fourteen years in Brazil and Colombia.

See also Should I wait for guidance to a specific country?

OMF has a great article as well on deciding which country!

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