Just because you are a Christian and going to the mission field doesn't make all the hidden issues in your life go away. It would be best to deal with them head-on before leaving to go on your foreign mission assignment (secret sins, marital problems, family issues, debt, etc.). Because once you are there, it will only magnify the problems more.
When you are first assigned to the mission field, you likely feel excited and anxious. You may be looking forward to your new journey, but at the same time, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed by the whole process. One of the first things you will likely experience is culture shock. Some people experience culture shock more strongly than others, and everyone deals with it differently. We will cover ways to deal with it and how to overcome it!
WHAT IS IT?
Culture shock is the feeling of disorientation that people experience when exposed to a new culture different from their own. Some common symptoms of culture shock include confusion, anxiety, homesickness, boredom, and irritability. People may also have trouble communicating or understanding the local language or customs.
WHAT ARE THE STAGES?
Understanding the 4 stages a typical person goes through will help you see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. AND remember, if God called you to that place in the mission field, he will get you through it!
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH IT?
Christians must assess the blessings God has given them and their priorities. It is okay to enjoy them, but also, we should be using them to advance the Kingdom of God around the world.
When preparing to become full-time missionaries, there is always something that has been forgotten; that is why logistical preparation is extremely important. Once you are in your host country, it is not always that easy to rectify anything you may have missed, such as copies of your marriage license, your medical records, etc.
Ministry would be excellent if you didn't have to deal with people! (JUST JOKING!) I'm sure some of you are spitting out your coffee right now, but you know it can be true at times! Myself, I love working relationships with people and seeing God using all of us TOGETHER to build his Kingdom across the globe.
I have two examples of how missionaries need to learn to work with each other. I'm sure you have a few of your own for those who are reading this. Years ago, a lady in our ministerial fellowship here in Honduras posted a question in our Facebook group. She asked what some of the most challenging things you deal with as a missionary are. One person commented that she gets hurt when missionaries at a local supermarket won't say hello or acknowledge her. She just knew they were missionaries because they looked like it. Then I had a fellow missionary confide in me that another missionary told him that he couldn't minister in this particular area of town because it was their area. I have never seen or found scriptures in the Bible where we are to throw gang signs and have turf wars!
These may be interesting or funny examples of how some missionaries need to learn how to walk in love and grace with each other. However, the Bible encourages us to recognize that we are the Body of Christ, and we are to be in unity to fulfill his plans and purposes for the earth. Jesus said in Matthew 12:25, "Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A town or family splintered by feuding will fall apart."
HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS HELP KEEP MISSIONARIES IN THE FIELD
Missionaries who have healthy relationships with their fellow missionaries tend to be more productive and last longer in the mission field. A recent study found that when they have healthy relationships with their fellow companions, they are 46% less likely to get homesick and are 55% more likely to stay in their mission. Additionally, these missionaries are also more likely to have higher productivity rates.
I have always cringed when thinking about leading volunteers, especially from a military background and as a previous owner of businesses.
Volunteers to me in the past have always been; they are here today and gone tomorrow. So many have big hearts and no motivation.
I have a passion for turning this mindset around in my heart. Some of the best churches are primarily run by a team of dedicated Jesus lovers who volunteer!
I prayed to God to lead me in a direction to gain a fuller understanding of what it means to lead a team of volunteers to excellence in the Kingdom of God. I believe he led me to this book. It is so insightful and full of wisdom on building and leading an army of believers for Christ!
Looking to change the way you communicate and collaborate with others? 5 Voices is the perfect guide for anyone looking to effectively lead a team. Change your communication style and achieve greater success.
Or, you may be an individual that wants to be a better team player. This book will help you recognize your voice all the while working with other different types of voices with those that you are collaborating with.
HOT NEW VIDEO! Dr. Vance is using technology to spread the gospel and connect with people all over the world for Global Missions. Despite the restrictions due to COVID his ministry exploded. He is determined to reach as many people as possible.
Missionaries are often sent to dangerous or difficult areas, and their work is often taxing and challenging. Many missionaries face circumstances that can be emotionally and physically draining. Some missionaries may not feel supported or appreciated by their home church, which can lead to discouragement. Additionally, some missionaries may think that they are not making a difference in the places they are serving, which can also lead to discouragement. These factors can contribute to the high attrition rate of missionaries, and missionary care can help alleviate it.
A MISSIONARY CARE TEAM IS VITAL TO YOUR CHURCH
Missionary care teams should be a vital part of any church with missionaries out in the field. They are made up of people who have a heart for missionaries and who want to provide support (not just financial) to them in anyway possible. The care team's purpose is to come alongside the missionary and offer physical, emotional, and spiritual support. They do this by praying for the missionary, sending cards and letters, continually communicating, occasionally visiting the missionary in person, and much more. Care teams are a great way to show your support for missionaries and be a part of their ministry.
Short-term mission teams are more than just making sure everyone gets their passports, packing everything, and getting the projects done in the mission field. It’s about discipleship, unity, respecting the host country’s culture, and preparing people’s hearts for a lifetime of dedication and heart for global missions.
Some churches have a hard time focusing on Jesus in their quest to be relevant in today's society while leaving the red letters, and on top of that, fewer believers choose to enter the field of global missions. From the time someone first obtained a World Christian vision for missions to the time they finally launched into the mission field, the average is seven years.
If constant encouragement and practical discipleship are not introduced into the lives of believers during those seven years, they often lose sight and passion for what has not been taught and placed in their hearts by God. The reason is that parents, friends, and even pastors rarely encourage anyone to make that kind of decision. Each year, no less than 200,000 people sincerely make contact with one of the hundreds of mission agencies established in the United States. Unfortunately, the painful reality is that less than 1,000 people will launch into the mission field.
WHO ARE MISSION MOBILIZERS
People who desire to see others prepared, trained, and brought into the mission ministry are called mobilizers. Mobilizers are the ones that stir the hearts of other believers in Christ for reaching the World for the Kingdom of God. They coordinate efforts among senders, local churches, sending agencies, and field missionaries. Mobility is essential for the church, and mobilizers are the ones to get the ball rolling and keep it moving.
THE BODY OF CHRIST NEEDS TO MOBILIZE WITH THE MOBILIZER
A great analogy is parallel to World War 2. Only 10% of the American population went to war, and out of that 10%, only 1% actually saw combat. BUT for the soldier to be successful, it required the entire country to be mobilized in various forms or fashions.
Without learning the language, you could be putting yourself at a disadvantage in the mission field.
I personally can testify that not knowing the language can cause hindrances for your ministry and make you feel discouraged.
Many missionaries are compelled to get right to work in the mission field and avoid language school because there is no time for it. One reason you hear, my supporters are not donating for me to sit in a classroom.
I believe you will be encouraged by this video.
In 2015, my father passed away. To this day, I miss him and believe that I will be reunited with him in heaven. Many times I ponder what he instilled in me as a human being. One that stands out more than anything is integrity and honesty. As a young boy, he would always say to me, it's better, to tell the truth than deal with the consequences of telling a lie. He would purposely withhold a severe punishment if I told the truth. His tombstone reads, "I was an honest salesman".
Integrity is vital because it is the foundation of trust. Trust is essential in all relationships, personal and professional. When people know that they can trust you to do what you say you will do, they are more likely to cooperate with you, share information with you, and recommend your services. Integrity also contributes to your personal credibility. People are more likely to believe what you have to say if they know that you are an honest person. Finally, integrity is essential because it reflects your values and principles. People respect those who stand up for what they believe in, even when it is not popular or easy.
Definition of Integrity
Integrity is a word that is often used but not always understood. Webster defines integrity as "the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; the quality of being complete or undivided." When we think of people of integrity, we may think of those who are always truthful, never cheat, and always do the right thing.
It clearly addresses integrity in the Bible and its need as a believer in Christ Jesus. The Biblical term integrity occurs sixteen times in the Scriptures and is one of the most important words. Collectively, you can gather the meaning to be as "sincerity," "truth," the "pure heart," the "single eye," etc. In the above sense of simplicity of intention, it is equivalent to being honest, sincere, genuine, and is fundamental to true character.
Developing and maintaining a culture of missions is important for churches that are mission-minded, it must be consistent and intentional. Predominantly, they are thriving churches that place a high emphasis on missions. They have a clear purpose and vision, focus on discipleship, and emphasize the use of modern tools and techniques to reach the international communities that God leads them to.
Church culture is the unique set of values, traditions, and behaviors that characterize a particular church. It's important because it helps define who a church is and what it stands for, and a church with a culture of missions it's quite evident to those that are a part of it and those that come in contact with it. It can be a source of strength and unity for members. It's important for churches to evaluate their vision and make sure it's in line with their intended desire to have a culture of missions.