We have a confession to make. Neither of us have heard God’s voice directing us to go to Asia-Pacific or have had a vision of working in a tribal people group.
When people ask how we know that God wanted us to be missionaries, we tell them that we heard our call through His Word and prayer.
Throughout our lives we both have had people influence us. Mark grew up as a missionary kid. Lauren’s parents and church were both very missions-minded, and supported her on pursuing short-term mission trips and classes like World Wide Perspectives. Simply learning about the need in the world awakened a desire to be involved in missions. The need for laborers. The need for the gospel to go to remote locations.
Here are some facts that impacted us:
- Out of 6,500 people groups in the world, around 2,500 are unreached people groups (means they don’t have any believers or the Word of God in their language).
- Another way to see this is through population. Unreached people groups make up 3 billion of the world’s 7.5 billion people.
- Did you know that though we, English speakers, have over 100 translations in our language? World-wide there are only 484 COMPLETE Bible translations (out of 7,000 languages). That means that the majority of the world is still without the whole of God’s Word in a way they can understand it!
Sometimes we doubt our “career choice”, and if this is what God really wants us to do with our lives, but we know that God’s heart and His command is for His church to GO. God’s heart for the nations is a theme all throughout the Bible:
- Genesis 26:4 “I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed.”
- Deuteronomy 4:5-6 “Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.'”
- Mark 16:15 “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”
- Revelation 7:9 “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb…”
Yes, we have gifts in certain areas that will benefit us in ministry, BUT we are just an ordinary family (no special PhDs) who is willing to go. Our thought was, if God doesn’t want us to go be church planters overseas, He’ll close the doors, and so far He hasn’t. In fact, He seems to be opening doors and providing ways for us to continue on this path into tribal missions.
What about you? Are you wondering how YOU can know if God wants you to be a missionary?:
Are you willing? Are you able? How has God gifted you? How can you best play your part in reaching the nations? Are you a goer? Or a sender? Pray for other missionaries.
2. Take a step
Don’t keep wondering or waiting for a call. God has already called all of his children to be involved in missions. Start moving in a direction and God will direct your path! Here are some ideas:
Talk to your church and pastor. Take a class like Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. Read a book about missions or missionaries. Follow missionaries’ blogs or sign up for e-mail updates from different organizations. Go on a short-term missions trip (may we suggest Interface?). Go to Bible school. Pay off debt.
Though God’s desire is for His Church to be a part of this task, not everyone in the church has been gifted to be a hand or foot. How does God want YOU to be involved in missions? Are you a Goer? Sender? Mobilizer? Equipper? We encourage you to find out!