What does it take to be a missionary? This is one of the many questions we run into when thinking or talking about missions work and what it takes. Here are a couple of the key tools every missionary needs when it comes to preparing for an outreach!
1. Relationship With God
The most important tool for any missionary to have is an intimate relationship with God. To be in constant fellowship with the Holy Spirit leads to God sharing His heart with us. If we do not fully know and understand how greatly we are loved by the Lord, how can we love anybody else? Any kind of outreach or missions work that we could do is simply an overflow of God’s love for us. It is only through our understanding of that love, which comes from having a deep and personal relationship with the Lord, that we will be able to understand God’s heart for other people. The stronger our relationship with God, the more we will want to share with others what He has done for each one of us.
What does it mean to overflow with truth? It means to be so full of and so buried in the Word of God that whenever you open your mouth to speak, the truth of the Lord is what comes out! If we don’t know what God’s Word says, we can’t live by it. We can’t put it into action. In John 8:31-32, Jesus says to his disciples, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” If the truth is what ultimately sets us free, we MUST truly know the truth in order to lead people to the freedom that is found in the truth of Christ.
3. Willingness To Serve
Being a servant is what God has called us to do. He calls us to put others first, and to serve them at all times. Having a servant’s heart and putting the needs of others before your own isn’t always easy, but when we serve in this way, we get a glimpse into how Jesus lived His life on earth. He gave the ultimate demonstration of what it means to be a servant by laying down His life for us. He chose to die on a cross so that we might be set free. That is the greatest example of servanthood we could ever have, for “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).
Prayer is communication with God on behalf of others, or yourself. It is to ask God for His Kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven! Prayer is one of the most crucial tools to carry with us at all times, because it connects us directly with the heart of God. It is the greatest weapon we have to wield against any attack of the Enemy. It allows us to connect with and fight for the people we have come to serve and to reach. It is our direct-line to the Lord, and to knowing His plans for us. Not only is it necessary to be in a constant state of prayer ourselves, it is also very important to have other people praying on our behalf. This makes way for grace upon grace to cover us, giving us the power to walk out difficult situations, even when we don’t feel like we can, or when being obedient to what the Lord is asking of us doesn’t seem to make sense.
These are just four of the many tools that every missionary should take with them wherever they go. Every tool that we take with us onto the mission field should be all about our relationship with God overflowing into a lifestyle of being a light for Him everywhere we go.