If this is the first time you have considered serving in world mission long-term overseas, then here are some pointers to get you started:
- Take time to pray and listen to God about this.
- Talk with your church leaders - right from the start it is vital that you seek wisdom and advice from your local church leaders/mission support team to help you think this through fully.
- Ask others who know you well to pray for you as you seek guidance and clarity.
- Ask yourself whether there’s a specific people group or area of the world to which you feel drawn, find out more about those people and places and start praying for them.
- Do some research and see which organisations or groups work in the area that you feel called to or are interested in, and whether they engage in the sort of projects that are of interest to you.
- Where is there most need? Think and pray about your involvement in those areas and places where people are most unreached. Be prepared to be challenged or re-directed. Perhaps there is more need for you in places or projects which you haven’t yet considered.
- Find out what qualifications and language skills are needed so that you are aware of any further study you might need to do.
- If you’re a married or engaged couple it is important that you reach agreement on your course of action - differences of opinion which may seem unimportant at home in the UK can become very significant when you’re operating in a different culture.
- Look for opportunities to engage with those from other countries and cultures where you live now.
- Consider taking part in a short-term mission trip.
- Read 10 Reasons you Shouldn't (and Should) be a Missionary - Rodney Pennington (OMF U.S.) lays out 10 reasons people pass on the missionary life, and 10 reasons why cross-cultural missions work is an option you should definitely consider.