“Consider these questions and avenues for input.”
That’s a difficult question to answer without knowing more about your situation. I hope you have others with whom you can discuss this important question face to face. Being open and transparent with people with whom you may be having trouble or who may pressure you one way or the other can be difficult, but we would urge you to talk first to your team leadership.
If they are unable to help you, you might take your concerns to others in the organization, such as other leaders or those responsible for HR/personnel, or what is often called member care.
You should also be in contact with your home church while you are in the process of making this kind of decision. Many people do not let their church back home or their supporters know about a problem or transition until their decision is already made. It’s better to bring them into the conversation sooner so they won’t be so surprised, will pray for you, and can offer their perspective.
Questions to ask yourself or discuss with others may include:
1. What other opportunities might you pursue if you don’t continue for another term?
2. What do you feel God is leading you into, long-term, and how does this fit in?
3. How will leaving vs. staying affect others, e.g., your coworkers or those you are serving?
4. Is there someone else who could take up your responsibilities? If not, are you prepared to see these things come to an end?
5. If you do stay, what things would you like to do differently during your next term? Are there things you can and should do to change your circumstances? (e.g., raise more support, seek a change in your responsibilities, invest more in certain relationships, etc.)
6. If you leave, what does it look like to “finish well”?
May the Lord of the harvest unfold all he has for you and through you!
Answer from Marti in South Carolina, who has served in missions for more than 20 years, including ten with Pioneers.
First Term = Learning Term
Usually ones first term on the field is a learning term. You are getting your feet on the ground. You are learning the language. You are learning about the needs, about what has been done in the past, what seems to be connecting today, where you fit.
Your second term is normally when you start really ministering. You do some real ministry your first term, but your 2nd and 3rd terms are when it really takes place. So don’t bail too soon.
No matter what mission group you are part of , there will be things you don’t like, as wel as things you like. The same is true of churches, as I am sure you have discovered. Hang in there. Focus on the value of the ministry being accomplished.
Answer from David in St Louis, who spent a decade in the mountains of Guatemala plus a couple years in Colombia with One Challenge. Currently works with the M-DAT team..