God has called every believer to go into all the world and to make disciples. Mission volunteers can be used by God to reach the nations, and to make tremendous impact on the advancement of God’s Kingdom.
Here are my top ten tips for believers who seek to serve internationally::
- Do not expect other cultures to be like your own. Everyone has a tendency to think that our own culture is the norm. It is not always good or bad, it may just be different from your own. Avoid being critical of other cultures, or comparing it to America.
- Be a learner. Ask questions. Learn about local customs. Embrace new foods and new experiences. Show genuine interest in the people that you will meet. Knowledge of others and culture will always strengthen your witness.
- Learn some language. Not all of us are gifted in language, but most of us can learn a few words. Learn to say ‘Hello”, Goodbye”, and “Thank you”. Nationals appreciate our effort in even small ways, and it demonstrates that we want to build relationships.
- Treat others with dignity and respect. Put others before ourselves as the Scriptures teach us, whether they be nationals or fellow team members.
- Have a servant spirit.. Christ demonstrated the effectiveness of a servant spirit in His ministry, and calls us to do the same. A servant spirit opens doors for the Gospel and makes us a better team member.
- Welcome others into your presence. Be open to people. Seek to engage others in culturally appropriate ways. Kindness, smiles, and a gracious attitude are bridges for the Gospel.
- Demonstrate a spiritual depth. Prayer, Bible study, and worship are foundations for maturity in Christ. You cannot share what you do not possess.
- Be fluid. Things will not always go as planned. Trust that the Holy Spirit is working in the changes, and go with the flow.
- Demonstrate a passion for Christ. Be ready to share your story and what He means to you.
- ‘“GO”. You will never be used by God until you say “yes” and go. The Mission Mobilization Team at the Kentucky Baptist Convention has challenged every church to “Send One More” in the coming year in a missions cause. Would you be that one or, even better, would you take someone with you?
A lost world is waiting.
“And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:15)