Is God Calling You to be a Missionary?

Why does being a missionary interest you?  What is prompting you to think about giving your life to serve God as a missionary?  Is it the right thing for you?

There are lots of reasons why people would like to be missionaries.  I think the only really valid one is that you firmly believe that God wants you to serve Him as a missionary.  How can you be sure?  How can any of us be sure?  Here are a couple of steps I would suggest.  They are things that Sandra and I did before making our decision.

  • Pray about it and ask God to give you a deep conviction that He wants you to serve Him as a missionary.
  • Have your pastor and elders and deacons and parents and good friends pray with you.
  • Make sure you really should be a missionary, that God wants you to be a missionary.

Some Reasons Not to be a Missionary

Some people want to be missionaries so they can see the world.  The truth is that missionaries don't see very much of the world.  Yes, they usually live in another country, but most missionaries don't have much time to do sightseeing.  They may live in a city and work in the same city and their leisure activities revolve around that city and the people with whom they work.  Or perhaps they live in a rural or very remote area and do very little travelling of any kind.  Pretty soon the novelty wears off, and wherever you happen to live is “home.”


Wherever you live, you have the same problems and chores you did where you used to live.  Maybe more.  You have to shop, and cook and wash clothes just like before.  The difference is that in most countries there are no ready to heat foods which means cooking is a pretty drawn out affair, and in some countries there are not even any washing machines.  You have the same amount of work but it takes much longer.  You have less leisure time.  If you live in the two-thirds world polution is often out of control.  Pretty soon you find out that being a missionary isn't as romantic as you first thought.

Some people want to become missionaries in order to escape from someone or something.  You know, the harder we try to run away from something, the harder it seems to escape it.  You can't run away from a problem.  It will go with you wherever you go.  Our problems follow us.  We often use Jonah as an example of the futility of trying to run away from God.  Jonah tried very hard but soon understood he couldn't run away from God.  Trying to run away from problems is very similar.  You can't.  You might hide for a while, but that doesn't solve anything.  So don't decide to become a missionary in order to run away from a problem.  It will probably only make the problem worse.

I don't think there is anyone who thinks that being a missionary is a lucrative decision, a great money making opportunity, but just in case there is, let me bring you back to reality.  Missionaries don't make a lot of money.  Most pastors make a lot more, with fewer headaches.

So, Why Would I Become a Missionary?

I became a missionary because I firmly believe God wanted me to be a missionary.  Sandra and I prayed a lot about it and were sure that was what the Lord wanted for us.  And to be honest, I love it.  I love it because I am doing what God wants me to do.  When we live within God's design for our life, then we can love life and enjoy life, even if things are tough.

Have you read Jesus' words in John 10: 9-10.  I like the way it appears in the New American Standard Bible.  It says,

“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved,
and shall go in and out, and find pasture.  The thief comes only
to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life,
and might have it abundantly.”

You know what I like about that verse?  The words “abundant life.”    Here is what my dictionary says about the word “abundant.”  It says, “More than sufficient, plentiful.”  That is the life that Jesus offers to all of us, and the way to find it is to cooperate in doing the things God wants you to do.  If it is being a brick layer, then that is what I should do; if it is being a doctor or lawyer, that is where I should head; if I prayerfully decide God wants me to be a missionary, then there should be no hesitation.  I have found that I am only going to be truly happy and fulfilled when I am living in God's plan for my life.  That is where I find an “abundant life.”

Do you believe God wants you to be a missionary?

If God is calling, don't say no.  Begin to pray in earnest asking God where He wants you to serve Him and with which organization.  Ask you parents, friends, pastors, elders and deacons to pray with you.  No, you probably won't get to see much of the world, just a little part of the country where you serve God, but you will have the truly abundant life God has in store for you.

If you would you like to read a little more about how God Calls People to be Missionaries  Click here.

Can we help you with your Questions?

You can write me, Gary Clow, if you would like, or Sandra, and one of us will try and answer your questions.  Or, you can write to one of the people in our mission offices who probably can give you a lot more answers than can I.  Just click on the name of whomever you would like to write.

 Gary Clow

 Sandra Clow

Michele Allan at World Team in Canada

 Mobilizer at World Team in the USA

 Brian Billing at World Team in Australia

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