How do we determine readiness to minister to others? As a starting point on this multifaceted question, let’s consider two topics; spiritual readiness and emotional readiness.
Because Biblical truth is the best help we can give anyone in the world, we need to be spiritually knowledgeable as we consider ministering cross culturally. In addition to strong Biblical knowledge we need a correct understanding of God’s love, compassion, goodness and justice. Those truths will keep us afloat in our and others difficult times. For example, we need to grapple with questions about God’s goodness. We easily say that God is good when He answers our prayers the way we want Him to. However, when things don’t go our way do we believe that God is still good? Everyone has doubts from time to time but at the foundation of our beliefs there needs to be a solid confidence that God always does what is best for us no matter how painful it may seem at the time.
As our knowledge and understanding of God grows, so should our love for Him. Only then can we consider our emotional readiness. Are we overly needy ourselves? Everyone has needs from time to time but if we can’t function without constant support, we may be a drain on the mission rather than an asset. Are we approachable so that people feel safe with us? That is vital for honest communication. Do we feel compassion for the needs of others or do we tend to think people should “buck up” and be tougher? People will perceive that attitude and it will limit their trust. Can we keep secrets but also know when that secret must be exposed? Confidentiality is essential unless a life is in jeopardy. When advising others, do we recognize when we are out of our league and need professional assistance? These situations require great wisdom.
This is just a peek at the many questions to ponder as we consider our readiness to minister. During the preparation process, seek the counsel of God and others who know you well.
The following web sites include many additional topics to consider as ministry readiness is evaluated.