How do we determine our readiness to minister to others? As a starting point for this multifaceted question, let’s consider two topics: spiritual readiness and emotional readiness.
Because Biblical truth is the best that we can offer to anyone in the world, we need to be spiritually knowledgeable as we consider ministering cross-culturally. In addition to having strong Biblical knowledge, we need to have a correct understanding of God’s love, compassion, goodness, and justice. These truths will keep us afloat through difficult times. For example, we need to grapple with questions about God’s goodness. We easily say that God is good when He answers our prayers the way we want Him to. However, when things don’t go our way, do we still believe that God is good? Everyone has doubts from time to time, but at the foundation of our beliefs, there needs to be a solid confidence that God always does what is best for us, no matter how painful it may seem at the time.
As our knowledge and understanding of God grows, so should our love for Him. Only then can we consider our emotional readiness. Are we overly needy? Everyone has needs from time to time, but if we cannot function without constant support, we may be a drain on the mission rather than an asset. Are we approachable so that people feel safe with us? This is vital for honest communication. Do we feel compassion for the needs of others, or do we tend to think people should “buck up” and be tougher? People will perceive that attitude and it will limit their trust. Can we keep secrets, but also know when that secret must be exposed? Confidentiality is essential unless a life is in jeopardy. When advising others, do we recognize when we are out of our league and need professional assistance? Some situations require great wisdom.
This is just a peek at the many questions to ponder as you consider your readiness to minister. During the preparation process, seek the counsel of God and others who know you well.
The following web sites include many additional topics to consider as you evaluate your ministry readiness.