Not sure if you are ready for your first mission trip? Feeling a bit apprehensive whether you are qualified or what you can bring to a mission opportunity?
Let these 5 points encourage you: 5 B’s to Be Ready
1. Be Willing
Most of us as followers of Christ do not feel qualified or ready when He calls us to do something. Especially something that may be out of our comfort zone. But it is in this attitude of humility that we learn to rely on the Lord, not only for His leading, but for the very strength to fulfill what He has called us to do.
God doesn’t always call the most likely or even those who may feel the most equipped, but He, Himself, equips those He calls. He takes what is common and ordinary and confounds the proud and wise when He uses us in His kingdom work and purposes. This is the way He receives all the glory. This is the beauty of living a life filled with His enabling Spirit who works in us and through us to accomplish the will of God in this world. He wants to use us and has, in fact, created us for good works while being our source of strength and wisdom for all things.
We have countless Biblical examples of God’s servants lacking confidence in themselves, what God had called them to do or what the mission involved; we are in good company. (See examples like Moses, Esther, and Gideon to name a few). Like these followers before us, we are to live by faith.
He asks us to be willing. He asks us to trust Him. He takes care of all the rest.
2. Be Supported
Sometimes it can be daunting to do something new and go somewhere unknown or even serve with people you are not acquainted with. But be assured, you never go alone. The Lord always goes with you, and it’s important to bring others who are supportive with you as well.
Ways to do just that? Include your church family, pastor, small group, and family members in praying for you, encouraging you and supporting you financially. Let them join in the joy of your serving by being an active partner.
Go with a local team from your church or community or join a team the sending organization provides. Signup for included training or look for organizations who provide pre-trip training and after trip debriefing to help feel supported and prepared in your journey.
Get others involved in your going by sending support letters/emails, enlisting a committed prayer team being sure to provide updates. There are many tools mission team leaders use that can be helpful. Sharing your story before, during and after is a way to give praise to God for all He has done, show appreciation to your supporters and encourage others to follow in service as well. As a Christian servant and missionary you are a large scale team player, and with the support mentioned you will have the encouragement and blessing you need.
3. Be Flexible
Be willing to do what it takes to help others when and how you are asked. Flexibility is a key characteristic for mission trips or ministry of any kind. When you do missions you are stretched in many new ways. Your comfort level, faith journey, willingness to do things you have never tried before, ability to connect and interact with new cultures and people, sample new foods, experience all the highs and lows of ministry, are all ways to grow that can be both thrilling yet challenging. But again, be willing and open. An attitude to both do whatever it takes for the mission to be effective and a desire to be a blessing equally to those you serve with and to is important to the overall mission. A servant’s heart yielded to the Lord is always ready to be a blessing.
4. Be You
God has made you to do good works that will glorify him.
See Matthew 5:16
He created you uniquely and with purpose and can use you for His special service and as a witness to others. Your personality, passions and God-given skills, your compassion for others, the life experiences you specifically bring to the table all can be used to minister in personal and vital ways in ministry settings. Your faith testimony speaks to others in a way only you can.
Are you good at playing sports, maybe artistic or creative, possess a smart financial or business background, or love teaching young people? God has blessed everyone with multiple giftings, skills and hobbies, and all can be used to help others. What you can use on a mission trip might even surprise you!
God knows your heart and made you to glorify Him and He also knows how to use the unique you to let Him shine through and bring hope to others. So be yourself, yielded to the Creator who designed you, in the special way only you can connect and serve others. Who you are is useful to His Work.
5. Be Available
So you don’t have to wait until you feel qualified or ready. Serve now right where you are, in your church, your community, or your neighborhood. Look for ways to serve all around you and ways to serve in places he puts on your heart. Sign up for that short term mission trip. He’s got you and He’s got this.
Let the words of Joshua 1:9 encourage you, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
By Dani Cypert, Customer Care Manager, MissionGuide.global