Finding your Fit in Ministry
OK! God has called me to serve Him in missions. Exciting! Now what?
“I feel God prompting me to go into mission service, but how can I know if I am even a fit for serving with a mission agency at home or overseas? How has the Lord created me to do ministry? What Spiritual gifts do I have? What gives me significance, and what do I simply enjoy doing? I understand that God created me before the world began as a template to glorify Him.”
One can judge an automobile by the way it performs and operates. In the same way, we can look at our life’s past performance. My life’s power—Christ—is like the engine of that car running with the fuel of God’s word, prayer, and faith in the Maker. He has been leading you along a path of experiences that have prepared you for what lies ahead.
When God prompted me to serve with Wycliffe, I thought, “How could a retailer and church youth director be of any good to the Sumer Institute of Linguistics (SIL), the International arm of Wycliffe Bible Translators.” I knew my Spiritual gifts were exhortation and project organizer because of my service with the church. Wycliffe needed managers, so with my experience, I ended up managing an Academic Publications Department for SIL.
I felt so inadequate with only two years of college, working alongside linguists and college professors. Yet, in Christ, I started to feel valued and significant. Through Him, I was adequate.
God took a small international department and grew it into a large, efficient productive service to help bring God’s word to those without it in their mother tongue. He brought people together to use their God-given skills and gifts (even if they weren’t sure what those were!).
Finding your gifts and niche
Turn to Friends and Family: We need Christ-following friends and family to help us remove the blind spots of our life and tell us what they see us doing in future ministry. Friends may say, “You’re so savvy with Facebook and have a way of sharing bible verses that hit home. Have you considered helping an organization with their social media campaigns?”
Expand your Network: Churches and Christian colleges, on location and online, offer Spiritual Gift Assessments, Skill Assessments, and workshops to help you determine how you are made and what you have learned in life’s experiences.
Many missionary organizations host forums, questionnaires, coursework to help guide people. MissionNext conducts weekend retreats called The Journey Deepens for those who are serious about overseas missions. These retreats bring experienced missionaries from several agencies together with MissionNext Staff and mission candidates who are seeking God’s will for their lives. Find these events and more at MissionNext.org.
God provides His knowledge and power in us to live out His purpose through us. You may be called to serve out of your giftedness and experience, or in an area that seems outside your comfort zone. But He will do the work, not us. You will feel significant and full of joy as you rest in Jesus.
“And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” [John 1:4]
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” [Ephesians 2:10]
Helen and her husband David confirmed God's first call to missions at a MissionNext Conference in 2002. After three short-term (2-4 month) projects in Lithuania, they joined Wycliffe Bible Translators. They then taught for 7 years at Black Forest Academy in Germany. Black Forest Academy serves mostly US passport missionary families who work in over 50 countries throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. Now, back in the States, David continues to serve Wycliffe in a human resources capacity.