One tricky thing about exploring missions is that most of the “experts,” the actual missionaries, live far away. (It’s kind of part of the job.) Yes, there are mission coaches and organizations that can answer your questions, but you can learn a lot from a chat with someone who already has raised support, learned a second language, adapted to a new culture, and seen God at work among the unreached. 

During the summer months, missionaries often return to their supporting churches to report on their lives and ministries. This is your chance! Yes, they are busy and they might look overwhelmed, but most missionaries will welcome the opportunity to share their experience with you as you seek out God’s will for your life

“I would love to talk with potential missionaries! I would want them to ask any questions they have,” said SEND missionary Amanda Benson, who just started her first home service after teaching in the Philippines. 

So don’t be shy! Reach out to a visiting missionary, let them know that you’re interested in becoming a global worker yourself, and set up a time to chat. Here are a few questions that would be good jumping-off points for discussion:  

  1. How did they know that God was leading them to serve as a missionary?
  2. What do they wish they had known before they went to the mission field?
  3. What misconceptions about missionary life did they have before they moved? 
  4. If they could have a do-over on their “getting to the field” process, what would they change? 
  5. What characteristics do they think are most important for a missionary to develop? 
  6. What have been some of the sacrifices involved in being a missionary, and why are they worth it?  
  7. What have been some of the joys or lessons they’ve learned in missionary life? 

Here’s to a wonderful discussion that helps you discern how God wants you to be involved in his plan to reach the nations! 

No missionaries in town this summer? That’s OK — chatting with SEND’s mission coaches is another great way to explore your place in God’s plan. Click here to get started!

This post originally appeared in On Mission, SEND’s monthly newsletter for potential missionaries. In On Mission, you’ll find ideas for finding a quicker route to the field, advice for getting past rough spots, or encouraging stories that prove that others have successfully navigated this road to cross-cultural service—and that you can, too. To get this free newsletter delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here