HOW TO TAKE YOUR FIRST FEW STEPS INTO GOD’S GLOBAL MISSION
Whoa! Global missions is for super-Christians! Right!? I’m not sure about that — what if God was calling you and I to think more about the world? I know it may sound scary and overwhelming, but I believe each person has some role to play. Consider these steps to discern how God may be calling you to love the world.
Step 1: Do Some Research
I remember the first time I went to Urbana Missions Conference. I discovered how much the world was broken and hurting. I was overwhelmed. I was so sheltered. I had no idea that people were suffering in such deep ways… or maybe I just didn’t want to know the truth.
Hunger. Malaria. Human trafficking. Orphans. Displaced people groups. It broke my heart. I questioned God, humanity, and myself. What happened to our world? However this first step was crucial. I came home from that conference and began researching. With this information, I decided I would start making changes in my life. I urge you to do the same!
Would you consider learning more about the world?
Step 2: Pray for the Nations
I remember feeling helpless. What am I supposed to do? So I started praying regularly for different parts of the world. Operation World has a fantastic website that gives you facts about countries around the world. I started to pray for a random country during my daily commute to and from work. I incorporated these prayers into my daily prayer routine. I felt that I was playing a small role in a grander narrative to change the world.
How can you start praying more for the nations of the world?
Step 3: Give sacrificially to Causes
I felt compelled to do more than pray. I began setting aside money to help organizations and missionaries around the world. I started with people that were working in places or for causes that really moved me. Personally, stories of orphaned children, trafficked victims, unreached people groups, and areas of South Asia were especially gripping. I began monthly-giving to these various causes — adding one more when I got the opportunity:
- Missionaries in India
- International Justice Mission
- Compassion International
- Baal Daan
- Ravi Zacharias International Ministry
In what ways can you start giving financially to bless other organizations?
Step 4: Go on a Spring Break Project
I remember my first spring break trip to Jackson, MS. My team had the privilege of working with the John Perkins Foundation at the Spencer Perkins Center. My eyes were opened about issues of social injustice, racial reconciliation, and community development. I remember working really hard, learning a lot, and changing my perspective of other races. It shaped me. It gave me hope.
How can you get involved in a short, 1-week project to get your feet wet?
Step 5: Take a Perspectives Class
This is one step that is new to me. I hope to start my first Perspectives class this semester or next. Perspectives is a class/curriculum to help you learn more about missions and God’s heart for the world. It is often taught by missionaries with inspiring stories. There are over 200 locations in the U.S. I believe you can even get credit hours toward your degree program! I hope to learn more and deepen my desire to be a part of God’s Story. You can find a class near you!
Would you take time out of your schedule to learn more about reaching the world?
Step 6: Go on a Short-Term Summer Project
I remember going to India for about 4 weeks in 2006. My team went to Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Kerala. It was a difficult journey! We spent time in a few orphanages, attending massive conferences, sharing about Jesus in remote villages, visiting Bible Schools, learning more about the culture, and loving and encouraging people. It was an experience I will not forget! God used this trip to change me more than for me to change the world…
What would it look like for you to use your summer (or winter) break to go overseas?
Step 7: Share Your Passion with Friends
Socrates said that “an unexamined life is not worth living”… this is very true. All of these steps toward mission do not impact your life unless you examine, debrief, and discuss it with others. I have many journal pages unpacking my thoughts. I’ve had countless conversations with friends about these experiences. Please don’t keep your passion to yourself. Share with others. Make it the focus of your next dinner conversation with friends.
How can you bring your family and friends into your journey of missions?
Start this journey today!
I hope that you can take one or more of these steps and take action today. Don’t try to do everything at once. I believe that God will shape you in this journey. Be proactive. Do the research. Learn. Pray. Give. Go. Share with your friends. This journey will change your life. I pray that your heart for the world grows. You can make a difference. You have a part to play. You are an Everyday World Changer. Start today!