I want to be a missionary

If you feel God is calling you to serve Him in a full-time capacity, what do you do?

Eleven important steps to follow –

1. Thank God for the prompting of His Spirit and ask Him for the faith and courage you will need. Paul's phrases in Ephesians 2:10 are a good base for this kind of prayer.

2. Check that your desire to do this is clearly from God and that you are not just running away from something that's currently a problem in your life. Establishing that it is a call of God is essential, just as it was long ago for Paul and Barnabas where Acts 13:2 records "they were called" by the Holy Spirit.

3. If you are married, check that your spouse has experienced a similar calling. If it is of God, the Spirit will call you both.

4. Correspond with the in-field people already involved in the ministry you feel called to and confirm with them that a role exists for you. An acceptance into an existing team is most important.

5. Talk openly to a Christian you trust, someone who will be a good mentor to you as you confirm the call and explore the practical aspects of how it might look.

6. The support of your local church community is vital, so ask the missions leadership to confirm and clarify your call. Proverbs 11:14 has sage advice in support of this approach.

7. Here at GC3 we have material to help you and your missions' leadership explore the various key aspects of someone engaging in overseas missions full-time. The principles it contains apply equally to full-time service here in New Zealand but the topics, conversations starters and questions deliberately target an overseas cross-cultural role. Request this 'Commendation Guide' from operationsdirector@gc3.org.nz in the first instance. We'll love to journey with you and your church leadership in this process.

8. When you fully understand the commitments and responsibilities involved, it is time for your church elders to write a Letter of Commendation for you. This document should address those involved in the ministry and endorse your suitability for the role.

9. Check that you are able to get the prayer and financial support you need.

10. The final and most important event is when your church elders commission you to your ministry and "let you go" (Acts 13:3). This is a display of unity and support, signalling that those in your local church community are solidly with you.

11. Go! And allow God to work through you.

Sefton Marshall
Operations Director