There are many paths to the mission field – and in the end, God is the one who gets you there. But if you’re looking to become a missionary overseas, there are some practical steps you can take that will help you get started.
Travel to Your Prospective Location
Before you commit to living somewhere, take a short-term trip there first. This can give you essential information about the culture, the physical space, and the logistics of ministering to the people. If possible, spend time with other missionaries in the area to get a firsthand understanding of what it’s like – plus some hands-on experience.
Eliminate Debt (or Remain Debt-Free)
It is very difficult to start life as a missionary when you are paying off a mortgage, a car loan, or credit card debt. Do everything you can to stay out of debt before you go – but if you’ve already got some debt, focus on paying it down or paying it off completely. This will keep your support money going to the right place, and it will free you up to focus more on your ministry.
Register for Training
The type of training you need will vary greatly depending on where you’re going and what you’ll be doing, but you will need some type of training before your departure. Language classes, cultural studies, seminary, etc. are all possibilities for people looking to go into full-time mission work. Ask your home church for some direction, and don’t procrastinate when it comes to signing up for what you need.
Develop Your Support Network
Talk to friends and family about your vision, and make sure you have plenty of people behind you as you embark on this adventure. It’s also wise to find a mentor who can talk you through the process and open your eyes to things you wouldn’t have thought about otherwise. Experience is an excellent teacher, and a mentor can keep you from falling into unseen traps or missing out on important resources.
Invest in Your Health
Physical fitness, emotional stability, and spiritual discipline habits should be established before you leave your home country. Whether this means drastic changes or not will depend on your current situation, but the more solidified these things can be before you venture into a whole new life, the more likely they are to continue once you’re in the field. Take some time to improve your health in these three areas so that you’re not trying to overhaul them while also adapting to a foreign country and a whole new way of life.
Contact Doulos Partners!
Here at Doulos, we partner with church-planting ministries to give them the resources and prayer that they need to expand their work. Then, we work with those ministries to spread the Gospel around the world. Contact us today for more information!