7 years ago, when I had just turned eighteen, I clearly felt God call me to full-time missions.
Hopefully, since that time, I have matured and gained some experience. I know that there are many others out there feeling the same call, so here is my advice if you are thinking about stepping into the field…
1. Learn to hear and cherish God’s voice. This is your greatest asset. You will experience many situations where human wisdom is just not sufficient. Knowing God’s will at all times will enable you to be fruitful.
2. Read “Is that really you God.” Author: Loren Cunnigham
Loren Cunningham’s dream began with a vision — waves of young people moving out across the continents announcing the Good News of Jesus Christ to the whole earth. Decades later, Loren’s vision has grown into an interdenominational movement of Christians from around the world who are dedicated to presenting the Gospel to this generation. From Amazon.com
3. Start by being a missionary where you are. In Acts 1, Jesus tells his disciples to be disciples in Jerusalem before anywhere else. The best training ground for missions is in your daily encounters with friends/colleagues that don’t know Jesus yet. Experience the power of the Gospel now, it will strengthen your faith for the future!
4. Know where your joy lies. Missions is not always a smooth ride. You will face disappointments. In Luke 10, Jesus sends out his disciples, and they come back all excited. Here is what Jesus tells them:
All the same, the great triumph is not in your authority over evil, but in God’s authority over you and presence with you. Not what you do for God but what God does for you–that’s the agenda for rejoicing. Luke 10:20 (MSG)
5. Read “Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret.” Authors: Howard and Geraldine Taylor
This is the classic biography of James Hudson Taylor by his son Howard and daughter-in-law Geraldine, who also served as missionaries to China. It is the inspiring story of Taylor’s uncovering of the spiritual secret that paved the way for the China Inland Mission to become a reality. From Amazon.com
6. Read “God’s Smuggler” Author: Brother Andrew
As a boy he dreamed of being a spy undercover behind enemy lines. As a man he found himself undercover for God. Brother Andrew was his name and for decades his life story, recounted in God’s Smuggler, has awed and inspired millions. The bestseller tells of the young Dutch factory worker’s incredible efforts to transport Bibles across closed borders-and the miraculous ways in which God provided for him every step of the way. From Amazon.com
7. Read as much as you can about the culture you are going to. This one is pretty obvious, but simply by reading about different aspects of a culture, you can get a lot of insight about how to reach the people.
8. Read Operation World. Author: Patrick Johnstone
Packed with informative and inspiring fuel for prayer about every country of the world, it is essential for anybody who wants to make a difference. A handbook for global prayer. Over 2 Million in print worldwide! From Amazon.com
9. Find ways of getting involved in your future community. If you are a sportsman, find a sports club, etc. The more natural your contact point with people is, the greater trust they will give you, and the easier it will be for you to share the message…
10. Find out what other missionaries are living in the area. No one should stand alone in missions! They will also be able to give you local knowledge, which will increase your effectivness.
11. Invite your friends to join you. Either physically, in prayer, or financially. Start making preparations as to how you will keep in contact with them, and keep them informed about what is happening in your life. Start a blog/website. In this way you can inspire other people all over the world to do the same as you are, and further the Kingdom!
What kind of advice would you give to people wanting to be missionaries?
If you have any questionsor advice, do not hesitate to post your thoughts in a comment…
We are on Holiday; chilling in the south of Spain, close to Malaga. Our friends Jonathan and Mirrku are getting married this Saturday and we have a great testimony to share with you! Last Sunday, we met Andrew, one of our friends from Gibraltar. He told us about a Ukrainian girl that Guro met two years ago during one of our Summer Teams. She had responded to the Gospel, and prayed the salvation prayer. He told us that after that encounter, she had been baptized, that she is now in Madrid, and that she regularly does the same kind of street evangelism that she saw us doing 2 years ago! God is good!
Lesson 1: The place in Europe where people are the most closed to the Gospel is in the brains of the Christians.
Wherever I have been, in the north, the south, east, and west of Europe, there is openness to the Gospel among the youth. I have yet to come to one place where more people are not interested than those that are. When I am out on the streets, I tend to be very selective as to who I would like to speak to depending on people’s appearance. However, I have discovered that frequently, those that are very interested are those that don’t seem to be on the outside.
Lesson 2: People want the supernatural — pray for the sick.
All over Europe, many of the people I have met recognize the genuineness of my experiences with God, but then go on to affirm that they need their own experiences to be able to believe. I have found out that asking people if they have pain anywhere in their bodies, and then praying for them, is a great way to witness. When Jesus heals them on the spot, they are immediately interested in hearing more. Try it out for yourself! The more you pray for the sick, the more you will see healed…
Lesson 3: People need to dissociate their thoughts of Jesus from their thoughts of the church.
I admit that this is a trickier one. The church has not always been a great example of Jesus’ love; as the DC talk song intro puts it: “the greatest cause of atheism in the world today, is Christians.” You can use this simple example that I was taught: Christianity can be assimilated to an orange. If you bite straight into it, it is very bitter. But if you take away the peel, the inside is very sweet. Often, if people look at Christianity, it looks rotten or bitter. This is because of the peel of man-made religion that has been put around the inside: Jesus. He is the very heart of religion, and will never disappoint. When people get this, their picture of God changes.
Hope this was helpful for you! Do you agree? Do you have any tips for witnessing?
What do you get if you mix a bunch of Jesus loving young people, train them for four days, and send them into the streets of a nation that is wide open to the Gospel? We have just come back from two amazing weeks of Summer Team in Italy, and God has done great things.
After five days of training in the north of Italy, we came down with around 70 young people to the city of Bari, in the south of Italy. After the first day of outreach, we found out that many young people there believed in Jesus, but had never experienced him personally, or understood why Jesus had died on the cross. It was the perfect environment for Jesus to manifest His love in healing the sick. One of the outreach groups prayed for a man in a wheelchair, having a leg shorter than the other. His sister exploded in tears when she saw the leg grow out in front of her very eyes. All of the people looking on gave their lives to Jesus. Other people were healed from bad eyesight, knee problems, and more…
One of my life’s best experiences
My best experience was the last night, for the very last streetmeeting that we had. After preaching the Gospel, I called for anyone with pain to come forth. At first no one came, but then a courageous lady with pain in both knees walked towards me. I prayed for her and Jesus totally healed her. Immediately one other old lady came, with pain in her back. Jesus also totally healed her, ad she left crying for joy. Five other people came, and all left healed. Then two guys came forward, one of them wearing a t-shirt with a big anarchy sign. Their words went straight my heart: “We don’t have pain anywhere in our bodies, but we have pain in our souls. What can we do?”. It was not so hard to explain the Gospel to them…
Photos and Videos
In addition to the testimonies above, so many lives have been changed, both the participants of the Summer Team or the people they met on the streets. It is such a blessing to see God in action! Here are some videos of what we did, and here are some photos from the whole trip.
In one week’s time we will leave to Italy for a mission trip gathering around two hundred young people. We will first spend 4 days together in Bologna, in the North, training in dance, drama, receiving teaching, and preparing the way together in prayer and worship. Then will be split into three groups traveling to three different destinations.
Mission to Bari
We will going with a group will be heading for Bari in the south of Italy, a city of 330 000 people. Down there we will work with the local churches to do street evangelism, creative performances to share Jesus with people. From my previous experiences in Italy, the youth are very open to the Gospel. With Italy being a religious nation, most young people believe in God, and have a fear of death and hell, but have never experienced Jesus personally. Whereas in France most conversations would revolve around the existence of God, in Italy the main aim will be to tell the youth how to meet with Jesus.
Leading a team
I have been asked to lead the group in Bari, which amounts to around 70 people. This will involve teaching, overseeing the outreaches, and dealing with quite some practical issues. Pray that God would help me and give me wisdom for those days!
Well I will make the long story short, but I have this friend in Oslo that invited me to pizza on the day when the celebrate Abraham. He was going to pray at the mosque and invited me to join him just to visit, and it turned out that I had a really good time there! I was able to speak to the Imam and ask some question, and then a young guy asked me what I thought about being there, so we got to speak some more, which was very cool! Loved it!
For those interested, here is a link to an article about the celebration that have on wikipedia.
Here is a website that you can give to any muslim friend that you have spoken about Jesus to, it is about former Muslims that have had dreams and visions about Jesus and became Christian.