Unspoken Rules: there is a WHY behind all that you see and hear, taste and smell, feel and experience in every place God sends you.
There is also a God-story in all of this. Sometimes an anti-God story. The Spiritual informs us of a great deal of the why, if we are willing to seek the Lord, His Word and His people as to how the people we are sent to have come to this point and place in time and culture and belief.
Through speaking with seasoned veteran missionaries, we can conclude that in order to be as effective as possible and experience the longevity and fruitfulness that most missionaries believe God is calling them to, there are several areas you have to commit to from the beginning:
- Know you are called by God- this is your anchor and what will ultimately cause you to do what others aren’t willing to.
- Love the people for who they are- not what they seem or how they appear but for who God shows you they really are to Him.
- Walk in the Spirit- rid your life of whatever distractions and parasites and time wasters that keep you from closeness to Christ.
- Learn the Language- this is the rudimentary and foundational element to also learning the culture.
- Stay humble and don’t take yourself too seriously- learn to laugh at yourself, especially when others already are, because they will.
- Embrace the hard, painful, truth that you were called to suffer and find the real joy and peace from Christ that overcomes and endures it.
- Invest yourself fully into where you’re called and who you were called to do life with- don’t live half of your life back in America. Be all in.
- Enjoy it. Experience it to the fullest and let yourself be glad in the blessings and benefits God has given you in this place He loves.
- Get into friendships with locals and people of peace immediately, asking them as many questions as you can and relying on them for help.
- Be a servant. Place the work quickly into the hands of the local believers and learn from them. They can take the ministry farther than you ever could.
- Remember your role is a sent Ambassador and representative of the King of the Kingdom. Only God saves souls and changes hearts, and He was already there at work long before you arrived.