Guidance and Discerning God’s Leading in Missions
Wondering how to figure out the way God’s leading you — or how to interpret and react to all the obstacles? Missionaries weigh in.
Signs of Divine Direction
- How can I know if God is leading me to become a missionary?
- What are the advantages of going long term instead of short term?
- I don’t sense God leading me to become a missionary. Is it selfish for me to send financial and prayer support and not go myself?
- How do I discover the country or people group God is leading me to serve?
Obstacles, Your Past, Health
- Can I become a missionary even though I’ve made a ton of mistakes in life?
- Can I become a missionary if I have limited education?
- Can a person become a missionary who has experienced traumas in childhood?
- Can I become a missionary if I fear going overseas?
- Can I become a missionary even though I am divorced?
- Can we become missionaries if we have some health problems?
- Can a family with severe food allergies become full-time missionaries? My spouse and two children under two years have a severe allergy to gluten (celiac disease).
- Can I become a missionary if I have a speech impediment?
- Can I become a missionary even though I am deaf?
- Will a criminal record keep me from becoming a missionary?
- Would someone with piercings or tattoos encounter problems on the mission field (in terms of culture or religion or from sending agencies)?
- What age is too old to be a missionary? What are some things older missionaries can and can’t do?
Discouragement and Opposition
- What words of encouragement would you give to those who are looking into full-time missions?
- What unexpected obstacles or doubts did you experience becoming a missionary?
- How can I prepare for missions when others try to discourage me?
- What should I do if my church is not supportive of missions?
- Is it acceptable for a missionary appointee (someone preparing for the field) to leave his current church and join a new one because of lack of support?
- How do you explain the need for missions or the role of a missionary to family and friends who believe that “all paths lead to God”?
- See also “Apprehensive Parents” under Singles/Family
The Ways or Roles of Serving
- How much should I consider the needs of the world and my gifts?
- Can I use my profession and technical skills as a missionary?
- Can I serve international missions and still live full-time in my home country?
- Will I have to give up my hobbies and interests, or can they be used in missions?
- What personality types make the best missionaries? Could I be a good missionary if I am an introvert?
- Should I join an established mission team or start a new team with my friends?
- Doesn’t it make more sense for me to raise funds for a national missionary, rather than to raise funds for me to go? Wouldn’t funds go further for the gospel that way?
- I’ve been wanting to become something similar to an administrative assistant for missionaries. Is this something that’s needed? If so, what skills are most needed? How would you recommend getting these skills?
I would love to work with church leaders of existing national churches overseas rather than planting a church myself. Is that possible?
Where in the World?
- Should I wait for guidance to a specific country?
- How do I decide between becoming a missionary in a foreign country versus missions involvement from home?
- I’ve always lived in an urban area. How hard is it to adjust to a rural or jungle environment?
- Should I go where I already know the language
- What are ways to learn about cultures, peoples, and places I’m interested in or going to visit?
- When a country becomes politically unstable should Westerners leave?
The Time Is Right
- Should I go on a short-term missions trip just to try it out?
- How long should I plan to go: one year, two years, or longer?
- How can I know God’s timing?
- What are some of the first steps to becoming a missionary?
- How long does it take between deciding to go and actually going?
- Should we rent or sell our home before moving overseas?
- Is it better for our family to ship our furniture overseas or to buy replacements on the field?
- How can I determine if I should sign on to stay another term?