Jesus said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” (Mark 16:15)
The Lord calls us all to be missionaries – Christ clearly gives direction to the disciples to preach the Good News to all people. His disciples were sent out in pairs (Mark 6:7-13) to tell people to repent, drive out demons, and heal the sick. His followers are instructed in Acts 1:8 to be witness in Jerusalem (locally), Judea (nationally), and Samaria (internationally).
I look back on my 10 years in ministry and I see God’s hand in how He has lead and guided me. God brought people into my life to encourage me to step out of way. God uses the sum of our experiences – if surrender to Him. God doesn’t waste anything and He is able to redeem our lives in ways that are surprising and wonderful. Missions can take you across the street or around the globe. Some of us are limited by jobs or finances, have education commitment, and some are taking care of elderly parents. I want to encourage you to be intentional about the way you live. Local mission opportunities can include volunteering at the food in your church or a local hospital.
National mission opportunities can be being on a construction team or serving at a summer camp. International missions can be a short term trip or long term career opportunity. I want to share 5 things you can do today to prepare for wherever God may lead you!
1. Pay attention when you have a chance to learn from individuals from different backgrounds than you. It’s easy to settle in our comfort zone where people speak like us, eat the same food, and have the same view point. Try different kinds of food, attend a church service in another language, and read novels about other countries. It’s okay to be outside your comfort zone and will help you grow as a person.
2. Learn to drive a stick shift. In many countries, the majority of cars have a standard transmission. Ask a friend who drives stick shift teach you. It’s a skill you’ll be glad you have!
3. Memorize Scripture. Being on the mission field, I can testify that you’ll be under spiritual attack. Memorizing and meditating on Scripture will strengthen you spiritually. Get an audio Bible on your smart phone so you can listen to the Word while you’re in the car. Additionally, find Christian songs that are based on Scripture so it’ll stay in your mind.
4. Deal with your issues. Nothing will bring out insecurities more quickly than being in uncomfortable, multicultural situations. I encourage you to deal with issues that recur in your life – fears, bad behaviors, and toxic relationships. Talk to your pastor and trusted, mature friends. Allow the Holy Spirit to work in your heart.
5. Gratitude. Gratitude and contentment are so important! Take time to write down 5 things you’re grateful for and praise God for. Your whole perspective will change! My prayer is that you will seek first God’s kingdom (Matthew 6:33). He will show you His will for your life!
© Copyright 2017 Bethany Teams – By Kenneth Ortiz
Kenneth Ortiz is the Director of Bethany Teams. He is an author, international speaker, entrepreneur, and has more than a decade of pastoral ministry and church leadership. Kenneth has led more than 1,300 people on 30 mission trips to 25 different nations. He’s also an avid reader, a theology nerd, and a Disney Enthusiast.
Bethany Teams is a subsidiary of Bethany International, which has been effectively training and sending out missionaries around the world, both short-term and long-term, for more than seventy years. A full-service mission agency, Bethany includes a college of missions and a long-term force of over a hundred missionaries in Europe, Asia and Africa and Central and South America. Bethany Teams go to all these locations. We send a wide variety of teams, from large youth groups to small prayer-walking teams. We’ve sent senior citizens and families with young children as well as groups that are a mix of ages. Our teams have come from radio stations and businesses, churches and Christian schools. We love to mobilize God’s people into missions, whoever they are! To learn more about us and how you can help, visit here.
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