Your Future in Mission
40 Practical 'Next Steps' to help you find your role in God's global drama.
by Andrew Russell
To put them in some type of helpful order I'm going to use the Trail Guide Map from Jeff Lewis' book
'God's Heart for the Nations'. His steps include:
1. Begin. 2. Get Good Shoes. 3.Get Informed. 4 Get Cross‐Cultural. 5. Get Evangelistic. 6. Get
Counselled. 7. Get Prayer. 8. Get Going!
1. So let's Begin
1. Don't wait for a call; rather see the great commission as a command. So many don't go beyond
exploring because they are yet to experience a specific call.
2. Be attentive to the Holy Spirit leading you where he wants you to go.
3. Learn to be a learner/observer – the mission world doesn't need any more experts.
4. See yourselves as a servant – go to the place to serve.
5. The world doesn't need more of you – it needs more of God. Devote yourself to knowing God,
know his book, people are hungry for it.
6. Hold nothing back – surrender everything!
2. Get Good Shoes
7. Find God's mission in the Bible. Do Bible studies like Jeff Lewis' "God's Heart For The Nations"
8. Do the Perspective's course or the Encountering Islam course.
9. Discover the gifts and abilities that God has given you and find ministry outlets and mentors
who will help you to intentionally develop those gifts.
10. Spend significant time and energy developing your ability to interact with God and discern his
voice through the Word and prayer.
11. Look at how God has been equipping you so far.
12. Be intentional – only those who are intentional and take the initiative and keep moving in the
direction of the mission field are the ones who get there.
13. Keep a journal of your daily devotionals/notes on your readings, thoughts and prayers as you
journey – these will help to encourage you in the low times.
14. Develop strong habits in the spiritual disciplines (being able to feed yourself deeply).
3. Get Informed
15. Know the globe and its needs. Get a world map; watch the news, read newspapers – world
section, surf websites like the BBC and CNN.
16. Get a copy of Patrick Johnstone's Operation World or 100 Gateway Cities and start praying daily
for the needs of the world.
17. Read stories about missionaries/biographies of ordinary people used extraordinarily by God.
18. Write to cross‐cultural workers on the field and commit to praying for them – they will be so
encouraged and so will you.
19. Read Duane Elmer's, book Cross‐Cultural Servant hood, also Sherwood Lingenfelter's book
20. Learn to live more simply.
21. Undertake a Bible college course if you can – get a good Biblical foundation for mission.
22. Do some good cross‐cultural subjects before heading overseas.
23. Start learning another language. It doesn't have to be one you might use – just learn the process
of language learning. It will come in very handy.
4. Get Cross‐Cultural
24. Start at home and get to know your cross‐cultural neighbours
25. Spend time with people from other cultures, learning, listening, getting involved in their lives.
26. Experience the unreached face to face – take a missions trip and get exposure – be intentional
about where you go – spy out the land God has put on your heart.
27. Befriend internationals – talk to them about their faith/become familiar with what they believe
28. Become a good question asker and do so in a way that conveys care and concern for the person.
29. Live in community – it is essential that potential cross‐cultural workers learn to live in
community with others they will serve with.
5. Get Evangelistic
30. Develop a witnessing lifestyle – get involved in outreach where you are now. If you can't do it at
home you won't do it overseas.
31. Get out of yourself. Every cross‐cultural worker needs to seek to meet the needs of others – it is
what Jesus did.
32. Get involved in your sending churches' ministries – start serving at home as you will need the
33. Start a discipleship group on your campus, at work or at home – share your lives with others.
34. Try to church plant in your home country first before you attempt to do it overseas among
6. Get Counselled
35. Seek accountability and advice for the journey ahead – find a mentor or coach you respect. Let
them speak honestly into your life.
36. Interact with cross‐cultural workers – be encouraged by them and their stories.
37. Share your heart for missions with your home church leaders and see how you can pursue this
together as a body. It is not your work alone – explore how cross‐cultural ministry can be a
natural extension of what your home church is already doing.
38. Start doing an informal survey of mission agencies – it is never too early to narrow it down to 2
or 3 you want to really get to know. Then ask them tough questions and find out which one will
celebrate who you are and how God has uniquely shaped you for mission.
7. Get Prayer
39. Share your vision with others, start gathering to pray for the nations with like‐minded brothers
and sisters. It is never too early to invite people on the journey with you.
40. Stay in regular contact with these supporters – remember that these people are real partners in
your work and treat them as such with frequent communications and invitations to pray and
share their perspectives and insights with you.
41. Build a strong prayer team now no matter how far away you are from serving cross‐culturally.
42. Make good use of the latest technology to bring people on this journey with you. Blogs, Face
book, email, Skype, phone calls, faxes, telegrams, courier pigeons. (Well maybe not the last
8. Get Going
Get going because it is later than you think!
So remember ‐
"Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given and sink yourself into
that! Don't be impressed with yourself don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take
responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life."
Galatians 6 v 3‐5 The Message
"Twenty years from now, you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines. Leave the still waters of the harbor. Catch the trade winds with your sail!"
One final thought and word of encouragement ‐
"But I solemnly swear to keep you safe in the boat, with your wife and sons and their wives."
Genesis 6 v18
"Finally, the day came when the Lord said to Noah; go into the boat with all your family, for among all
the people of the earth, I consider you alone to be righteous."
Genesis 7 v 1
These verses are from the New Living Translation of the Bible. What is interesting is that in some
versions the word 'go' is replaced with the word 'come'. This gives it a totally different meaning.
Come into the ark, come thou and all thy house into the ark.
What a beautiful thought. The Lord was not saying to Noah and his family to go into the ark but to come,
signifying that God was already in the place he was calling Noah and his family too.
So remember God is not telling you to 'GO' anywhere but to 'COME' and join him in his redemptive