Into All the World: Volume 2, Issue 4

How to Become a Christian Missionary: Following God’s Call

By David Peach, Director of Deaf Ministries

David Peach, Director of Deaf MinistriesThis article was originally written for What Christians Want to Know. It is summarized here. Go to the original article to read it in full.


Following God’s call to become a Christian missionary is a great way to serve the Lord. However, there is more involved than just declaring that the person wants to be a missionary. Each mission field, mission agency and mission work will have its own special requirements. The person interested in mission work needs to take time to prepare properly for serving the Lord long-term.

Missionary Highlight
The Sauder Family

Justin, Danielle, Elijah and Jacob Sauder

Justin, Danielle, Elijah and Jacob Sauder

Please pray for Justin and Danielle Sauder. They will be moving to Lusaka, Zambia in July to begin their ministry.Yohannes and Kidist have been in Lusaka working with the Deaf for years. God answered our prayer for church planting missionaries to the hearing in Lusaka when the Sauders were approved as BIO Missionaries in November 2010.

The Sauders were blessed with a little girl (not pictured) in April. Please pray for them as they make this transition to Zambia with their young family.

Justin and Danielle have finished their deputation in just a little over two years. they could still use a little help. If you are planning to support them or help them with their move to Zambia now is the time!

Missionary Quote

“God is not looking for men of great faith, only some common souls like you or me… willing to trust in His Great Faithfulness.” – Hudson Taylor

Missionary Calling

People can be emotionally moved by a dynamic speaker. But an emotional feeling will only sustain someone on the field for a short time. A true calling by God on a life is what is necessary to keep a missionary on the field.

Initial Preparation

Once God’s call to be a Christian missionary has been confirmed, then the person should begin preparing for service. Many decisions must be made in the process. Where to serve? What type of ministry? What mission board? What special training is needed?

Preparation for missionary service should begin by seeking the pastor’s council on a missionary agency. The mission agency does not take the place of the pastor or the church, but they assist the pastor in getting the missionary to the field.

Formal Preparation

Many boards will require that the missionary have a college degree. This may or may not need to be a Bible degree. They are interested in knowing that the missionary candidate has enough character to complete advanced training. The board can recommend programs where the candidate can get the Bible training they need.

A foreign missionary may need to go through language training. With the online tools available to missionaries today, a candidate can get a head start on his language training before he arrives on the field.

Practical Preparation

  • Reading missionary biographies
  • Short-term mission trips help the candidate get a burden for people.
  • The missionary candidate should get to know other missionaries.

Final Preparation

One of the last things a missionary must do before getting to work on the field is to raise their prayer and financial support. This involves several months of visiting churches, pastors, friends and family to share their burden for missionary work. This time of support raising is part of God’s plan to prepare the missionary for the needs he will have on the field.

Preparing to become a Christian missionary takes time. Rarely does someone have God’s call on their lives and then go to the field in a matter of weeks. It is a time of preparation for long-term service. This preparation can take years. But the missionary will be properly prepared for a lifetime of service.

Again, this is only a summary of the full article. Please visit the original article to get the full text.

Missionary Humor

You might be a Missionary if . . .

  • You speak two or more languages, but can’t spell in either.
  • You have a name in at least two different languages, and it’s not the same one.
  • You don’t think that an hour and a half or more is a long sermon.
  • You haggle with the checkout girl for a lower price on everything.
  • Fitting 15 or more people into a car, small van or pickup seems normal to you.
  • You cruise the Internet looking for fonts that support your “native” language’s alphabet.
  • You realize that “furlough” is not a vacation.
  • You can cut grass with a machete, but can’t start a lawnmower.
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