Tag - missionary calling

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Why Guilting People into Missions Ultimately Fails
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Can Tattoos Lead to Salvation?
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Does God Care Where I Go?
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How to Identify Missionaries in Your Church
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When Your Missionary Calling Hits a Dead End
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How Do You Know You’re Called to Missions?
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When God Calls You Off the Mission Field
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Why Your Call to Missions Matters + How to Find It
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When God Tells You to Wait on Missions
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A Short-Term Mission Trip to Japan Changed My Life

Why Guilting People into Missions Ultimately Fails

missions motivations
When you think about your involvement in missions, are you motivated by the law — by a sense of duty — or by the grace of the Gospel? Photo by TEAM

In our Sending Church Training events, I often lead a session about “embracing spiritual conviction.” Every time I facilitate this session, I knowingly disappoint the attendees. Here’s why. In a room full of church missions leaders, everyone thinks “embracing spiritual conviction” means they’ll learn ways to motivate their congregations toward missions. In that environment, I let everyone down by refusing to talk about behaviors and focusing instead on affections. When it comes to mission motivators, it doesn’t really work to only think about behaviors — what people do — without also thinking about affections — why they do what they…

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Can Tattoos Lead to Salvation?

henna tattoos
Felicity didn't know how to get through to the women in her host country — until she started giving them henna tattoos. Photo by TEAM

When Felicity* heard the call to full-time missions in the Middle East, she thought she knew what to expect. After all, she’d grown up as a missionary kid in a Middle Eastern nation. She grew up with Muslim friends. She knew the Quran almost as well as she knew the Bible, and she could debate apologetics along with the best of them. But when she arrived in her new country, she realized none of it had prepared her for the ministry ahead of her. “In high school, I would sit down with neighbor kids and we’d play, and … our…

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Does God Care Where I Go?

missions destination
Many prospective missionaries feel God is leading them to move overseas, but don’t know where. Does that even matter? Consider the following perspective. Photo by TEAM

Many of us prefer to deal with situations in black-and-white terms and steer clear of the gray areas in the Bible. We like rules, even if we fail to stick to them. But there are areas where Scripture is less clear about what to do, like, “What college should I go to?” or “Who should I marry?” For missionaries, the question is often, “Does God care where I go overseas?” Many prospective missionaries feel God is leading them to move their lives across the world, but don’t know where. They may have some thoughts of where they would like to go,…

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How to Identify Missionaries in Your Church

How to Identify Missionaries In Your Church
Whether it be a one-on-one meeting or a church-wide event, begin to develop ways that you can identify missionaries in your church. Photo by TEAM

If I were to give you a one-question test right now, how would your church fare? Here’s the question: Are there people in your church interested in sharing the Gospel cross-culturally? If you are like many churches, your answer might be, “I don’t know.” A commitment to mission work often involves a deeply personal call from the Holy Spirit. But because everyday communities can see how an individual is gifted, church communities have the remarkable opportunity to call out the cross-cultural gifts they see in potential missionaries. What does this actually look like? Here are four ways you can proactively identify and prepare your congregation…

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When Your Missionary Calling Hits a Dead End

ways to support missionaries
After many closed doors, Kristine wondered if she would ever make it to the mission field to fulfill her missionary calling. Until the right door opened. Photo by TEAM

In November 2014, I was in a classroom that had a piano with a wooden cutout of a sheep leaning against it. It was as if the sheep was cautiously peering around the corner of the piano. In that moment, I thought, I don’t want to be like that sheep. I want to be the kind of sheep that goes charging around the corner if I think I hear my Shepherd’s voice. Have you ever been that sheep, longing to follow the Shepherd, thinking you heard His voice, but hesitating because you’re not quite sure? I have — many times….

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How Do You Know You’re Called to Missions?

called to missions
Discerning if you're called to missions can seem mysterious, but it doesn't have to be. Six workers share how they knew God was calling them to serve. Photo by TEAM

How can you know you’re called to missions? Especially when the very concept of “calling” can seem vague, mysterious and even painstaking to figure out? Sure, it’s nuanced. But confidently knowing your missionary calling is not impossible, either. Read five workers’ unique testimonies of how God called them to serve. Open Doors   “Our calling to missions started by Susan and I both saying that we would never be missionaries, and that kind of got God’s ear,” says Scott Downing, a worker in Chad. Scott and Susan both grew up as missionary kids in Africa, but never considered a life of…

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When God Calls You Off the Mission Field

missionary calling
When her daughter developed serious health issues, Deb traded her exciting life among nomads in East Asia for doctors' offices in suburbia. But through her deferred dream, Deb learned critical lessons about her true calling in life. Photos courtesy of Deb Wyss

One of my clearest memories from my seven years in East Asia is lying inside a nomad tent, under a blue tarp, while rain gently drummed my entire body. I was alone — alone in the sense that there was no one like me for miles and miles around. Baby yaks stirred within arms reach on one side, and a family of nomads with wild hair snored on the other. How did a girl from the suburbs of Minnesota get here? I thought. It was a feeling of elation, as I had long yearned to live among this unreached people group. But it was also…

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Why Your Call to Missions Matters + How to Find It

call to missions
It's not just a matter of passion. Having a true call to missions is a vital to ministry and doesn't have to be difficult to discover.

I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but when I see a tiny airplane on the cover of a journal, or a canvas that reads “Adventure is Waiting”, my heart starts to swell with longing. I immediately want to be on a plane or adding a stamp to my passport or in the middle of a busy European café, soaking in the sights and sounds. When you pair a longing for adventure with a desire to share the hope of Jesus Christ with the world, missions seems like the natural next step. I agree, you may be on to…

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When God Tells You to Wait on Missions

I recently spoke with a woman who, after returning from a yearlong mission trip, was ready to turn around and head right back to the mission field. She was transitioning between college and career, her job in the States wasn’t what she wanted to do forever and, most of all, she genuinely felt called to be a missionary. So, what’s the holdup? Time to pack the bags and go! Well, not quite yet. Pausing Can Be Part of the Plan First, we had to ask some pretty key questions: Is her desired ministry area in a place to accept new missionaries? Is there…

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A Short-Term Mission Trip to Japan Changed My Life

japan-temple
A short-term mission trip to Japan gave one couple vision for longer-term missionary service with a few plot twists along the way. Photo by TEAM

It certainly wasn’t the first short-term trip I had taken. My husband and I knew before we were married that we wanted to be missionaries in Japan, as we had traveled there with our church and other organizations. Short-term ministry was nothing new to us, but on March 11, 2011, as we saw the tsunami hit Japan in one of the worst disasters the country ever experienced, we knew we had to go back and help. In our mind, we wanted to just go and aid the country we loved in their hour of need. What we didn’t know is that…

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