“Sometimes.”

The church needs more Christians who will serve in the professions, business, and the trades. Since the work environment provides you with intimate contact with a small cadre of coworkers, you can live out your faith in real life through your profession.

First, learn about the area where you want to go: the needs and strengths of the country and the region, work permits for foreigners, and the work environment of your profession. Is your experience useful there (it may not be!) How is your profession or skill carried out there. What kinds of office politics and bureaucratic red tape drive projects?

I recommend you contact Global Intent to learn more. They are a terrific outfit with experience counseling and placing people in many parts of the 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.

They will open doors for you

Missions is about people, connecting with people. Even if you don’t directly use your professional or technical skills, they give you a unique connection point with other professionals and technical people. They will see you as  peer, an equal, rather than a stranger. It provides a common point of conversation, an immediate starting point for a friendship.

Answer by David who spent 20 years in Guatemala and Colombia with One Challenge. He currently lives in St Louis and works with the M-DAT team.


Editor’s note: For much more on this topic, see questions about Professional Skills.