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A call to ends-of-the-earth expatriate missionary service: Is it God's will for you?

Discovering if you have a mission call
1. Immerse yourself in the Word
All of it! Not just a few favorite phrases

2. Listen to the Holy Spirit
The inner witness

3. Look to God as sovereign
He often leads by opening and closing doors

4. Seek the counsel of mature Christians
Church elders, pastor, a mentor, close Christian friends

--Joe Mattox, HEART Institute, Lake Wales,FL

"So you see, King Agrippa, I have not been disobedient to what was revealed to me from heaven." -- Acts 26:19 (The Passion Translation)

When does God call people to long-term missionary service?

   -- Terry Read, missionary and missions professor

Feeling that God is calling you to missionary service?

"How can they hear without someone preaching to them?" -- Romans 10:14

Take these steps to discover if He is calling you

  1. Read everything about missions and missionaries that you can get your hands on.
  2. Get involved in the missions mobilization and education program of your local church
  3. Go hear every missionary speaker that you can. God sometimes chooses that time to clarify His calling to young people.
  4. Talk to your pastor.
  5. Throw yourself into active ministry through your local church.
  6. Go on a short-term missions trip like SNU's "Commission Unto Mexico." A cross-cultural mission trip will give you a taste of life on the mission field and a good opportunity to sense God's leadership.
  7. Contact a missionary sending agency.
  8. Consider giving a year of volunteer service overseas before deciding whether you should offer the rest of your life. Help for going on a one-year missions experience
  9. Persevere.

"I may not end up being a goer, but I can still play a role in reaching the world for Christ by being a sender."

    -- Heather Hartwick, Nazarene Bible College student

God's leadership -- Key elements of a divine call

In reflecting on a case study used in Theology of Missions class, student Kimberly Jayne noted that some common elements of a call into long-term or career ministry were:

  1. A metaphysical encounter with God which establishes a sense of calling (This may as dramatic as the burning bush episode Moses had in Exodus 3 or it may be a gentle whisper like the still small voice Elijah heard in 1 Kings 19).
  2. A time of reflection or doubting of the calling
  3. An affirmation of the call through the Body of Christ (the Church)
  4. A willingness to obey that puts no conditions on where you are willing to go or on what God may ask you to do

Ready for God's call
Wanting to know God's will? A stick figure diagram can help you. . . [ read more ]

How to know that you are called
from Evangelical Missions Quarterly . . .
  1. God delights to call his children in unique and personal ways. He doesn't use a cookie-cutter template or a 10-step formula.
  2. Before revealing his unique callings, God always provides more general callings to His people -- callings to salvation, holiness and obedience. If we miss these, we will never hear God's more personal and peculiar callings.
  3. Hearing a call to ministry is not a measure of spiritual commitment.
  4. Calling is not a status to wear. Responding to a call always requires doing.
  5. Being called is not a reflection of giftedness. Calling is more than the sum of our gifts. It is individually sculpted to incorporate both God's purposes and our passions

     --Gary Corwin, in his editorial "Calling and Character," published in an issue of EMQ


"Wherever He leads, I'll go"

In January of 1936, Southern Baptist songwriter B.B. McKinney was leading the music at the Alabama Sunday School Convention in Clanton. The featured speaker was R.S. Jones, McKinney's friend of many years who, because of ill health, had recently returned from missionary service in Brazil.

Prior to one evening service, the two men were visiting over dinner when Jones revealed to McKinney that his physicians were not going to allow him to return to South America. Asked about his future plans, the missionary said, "I don't know, but wherever He leads I'll go."

The words stuck in McKinney's mind. Before the convention's evening session, he had written both the words and music of this song. At the close of Rev. Jones' message, McKinney related this story and then the just-written sang "Wherever He leads I'll go" for the congregation.
    told by Billy Graham in Crusade Hymn Stories, Hope Publishing Company, 1967.

How do you hear God's call?

NextYou can make yourself ready to hear when God speaks. You need ready feet and a pure heart.

     -- Howard Culbertson

World missions course materials and syllabi

Cultural Anthropology    Introduction to Missions    Linguistics    Missions Strategies    Modern Missionary Movement (History of  Missions)    Nazarene Missions    Church Growth and Christian Missions    Theology of Missions    Traditional Religions    World Religions
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Howard Culbertson, 5901 NW 81st, Oklahoma City, OK 73132  |  Phone: 405-740-4149

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