4 Questions for Cross-Cultural Missions

If you’ve ever thought of serving through missions in any capacity with a different culture, you may have had some initial questions or concerns. One of our partner organizations, One Collective, has a document titled, 4 Questions to Ask When Considering Cross-Cultural Ministry, that serves as a good way to process your next steps.  

Let’s take a look at One Collective’s (OC) questions and Metanoia’s (M3) responses:

1.               OC: What does “going” look like for me?

M3The simple truth is: missions are messy. But so are we! Serving in any capacity will look different for each person. Rather than ask “why go?,” asking what God wants missions to look like for you may be the more appropriate question. Prayerfully consider where God is leading you and be aware of where you are presently. Are you struggling with a particular sin? Are you complacent or nonexistent in your faith? What is God calling you to do with your life? What should your particular ministry someday be? A word of friendly advice: be obedient to God’s will for you. Service to others is an act or surrender and obedience. A distraction-free mission in a different culture allows you to focus on God and the things He wants to share with you. Your perspective and attitude will change, too. These are some of the first steps in building greater faith and heart-change. 

2.               OC: What are my expectations for serving?

M3: Don’t get carried away with what you think service looks and feels like. Also, don’t falsely romanticize a life dedicated to missions. It is a good idea to have conversations with current and former missionaries and those who have attended a mission trip to form a baseline for what your expectations could be. It may be more important to focus on your preparations versus your expectations.

3.               OC: Why now? Why this?

M3: Sometimes it may be your timing and sometimes not, but it’s always God’s timing. Consider the reasons why you feel called to missions. If there’s movement, we are either moving toward something or away from it. Is it something you feel the Holy Spirit is guiding you to, or are you wanting to get away from something or a situation? Are your motives pure or clouded? Rather than ask “Why now?,” how about considering “Why not now?”

4.               OC: How do I see evidence of God leading me? 

M3: Is God leading you, or are you leading yourself? Is your interest selfless or self-serving? The path to missions and cross-cultural ministry is riddled with potholes. The potholes will force you to slow down. In these potholes, you will find evidence of God’s desire for your future. This is a case where these metaphorical potholes are good for you. It’s imperative to dive into Scripture and be in constant prayer, asking God to direct your next steps. To be lead, a relationship must exist that requires seeking and effort on your part.

Be sure to consider your calling. Is it short-term or long-term ministry? Overseas or your backyard? Now or later? 

Trey Campbell, Co-Founder

Metanoia Missions & Ministries