4 Things to Consider Before Doing Long-Term Mission Work

This is a guest post written by Michelle. Michelle is a blogger & freelancer who's written about almost every topic under the sun. She loves constantly learning about new subjects and industries while she’s writing. In her spare time, Michelle enjoys spending time outdoors with her dogs. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

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People feel God’s call upon their lives in many different ways. If you’ve been prayerfully considering the Lord’s purpose for your life and think He may be leading you to do something that sees you helping others and getting boldly outside of your comfort zone, long-term mission work may be a good fit. Keep reading to learn four important things to think about before you embrace this possibility.

Your Faith May Be Tested

By nature, long-term mission work often requires a person to sacrifice things and delay plans. If you pursue it, don’t be surprised to engage in things your non-Christian friends may view as foolish and irresponsible, especially when it comes to leaning on faith to guide you through what’s ahead.

For example, if you have a successful career in Philadelphia selling granite countertops, PA may seem like a practical place to remain, at least to an outsider. If you feel called to Cambodia to engage in children’s missions instead, rely on guidance from the Bible and expect your faith to be put on trial, perhaps because of the influence of family members, or your own personal doubts.

It May Be Necessary to Raise Support

While working as a missionary, there’s a good chance you’ll need to adjust to a new lifestyle, including living on an income that’s less than what you’re used to earning. To compensate, think about methods you could use to raise support for the new path you’re taking in life. A crowdfunding website like Kickstarter may be a great solution, or, if you’re already established in a home church, try appealing for help from your fellow congregation members.

You Don’t Have to Go Far to Serve

In the fifth chapter of Matthew beginning in the thirteenth verse, the words describe how Christians are called to be salt of the earth and light to the world. That means if your heart and actions are focused on serving God, you can spread His love whether you do so in Africa, or right in your own community.

If you feel certain you’re being called to participate in a long-term mission that’s far away from home, by all means do so. However, don’t get misled by the idea that a person who travels especially far away from what’s familiar is doing more to serve the Kingdom than you would by taking part in a long-term program near where you live.

Flexibility is a Must

In many cases, a desire to go on a long-term mission trip will allow you to use some inborn gifts, whether that means playing music during a worship meeting or lending your writing prowess to making a church’s mission statement more engaging and relatable. 

There’s nothing wrong with seeking out possibilities that match your capabilities. Try doing even more by courageously allowing yourself to display the heart of a servant by being willing to pitch in however is necessary. That commitment to flexibility will make you a valuable asset to any long-term mission team.

There are several things to consider before choosing to go on a long-term mission trip, but the principles above should be especially helpful as you respond to God’s efforts to show you what He intends for your future. Good luck!

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