Your Work and the Mission Field
If you’re considering God’s call to foreign missions, you’re probably wondering how to choose an area of work.
One of the first things one should do is sit down with spiritually strong elders and friends from your church or community. Share your thoughts and the ways God is working in your life. Those who know you well can offer counsel as well as pray with and for you.
Next, consider these possible specific doors into service:
- Your vocational experiences
- Your avocations
- Your learning curve on new material
- Your ability to use skills where you are right now
First, you might consider entering a field of missions because you have a skill that has been honed through time. You do it well and enjoy it, so it makes sense that you might continue to use that skill on foreign soil. Engage with people already on the mission field who are using this skill.
Second, an avocation might also be a way to enter missions. It is something that has always intrigued you and you’ve dabbled in it on the side through the years. That can be intriguing and refreshing if it is something that you also do reasonably well. Do similar research to consider this possibility.
Third, while learning something new is worth considering, it presents unique challenges. Preparing can be time consuming. In addition, it is important to know yourself. While some delve into something new and flourish, others feel like they are climbing Mt. Everest against a fire hose and that is exhausting. If the latter describes you, then you are in danger of stress overload and could come to the incorrect conclusion that you are not cut out for missions. Rather, it is more likely a matter of not being comfortable with the new skill.
Right where you’re at
A final challenge could be to consider something you could do from where you are right now. For example, if you are a mechanic, perhaps you can provide low cost auto rentals or auto repair. If you own rental property, set aside an apartment for missionaries on furlough. If you own a motel, offer a night free to missionaries traveling across the country. Are you trained in special education? Many missionaries who live in remote areas seek testing, evaluation and guidance for their children’s needs while in the States.
How about free tutoring in math, reading, physical, occupational or speech therapy? Online speech therapy for those in remote areas is almost a desperate need. Mission offices in the States also need administrative, janitorial and IT assistance. I could go on and on but hopefully this will trigger ideas in your mind!
The following sites offer additional important considerations as you pray over this part of your decision:
- Keep your job as a missionary
- What do missionaries wish they had known before they first went?
- What characteristics should missionaries have?
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” Colossians 3:23
Find a way to use your skills and experience on the mission field! Fill out a service profile with MissionNext, and get personalized opportunities.
Helen and her husband David confirmed God's first call to missions at a MissionNext Conference in 2002. After three short-term (2-4 month) projects in Lithuania, they joined Wycliffe Bible Translators. They then taught for 7 years at Black Forest Academy in Germany. Black Forest Academy serves mostly US passport missionary families who work in over 50 countries throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. Now, back in the States, David continues to serve Wycliffe in a human resources capacity.