Advice To New Missionaries

“Missionaries often mistake plunging into ministry for plunging into culture. They pay for a fast trip through language school by enduring years of slow and pain filled ministry. Some are disillusioned and discouraged when what were great ministry skills and experience in the US are not immediately useful overseas.” Let me add you must pay the price to learn the language. Decide now that if it means two years of language study that you will do it. Pay the price. Spend time with the people. Learn to laugh at yourself. But by all means get the language.

I would strongly like to suggest to each of you that you find someone who knows how and what to do and learn from him. For those of you who believe that God has called you to missions you need to become your pastors right hand so that he can train you and help you to mature and develop your character. Then once you arrive on the mission field I strongly suggest that you get personally involved with a veteran missionary who can really help you and train you. Things are different on the mission field. Be willing to learn.

“I just read about a young lady who was willing to pay the price to adapt to the culture where she was and so she learned to eat hot sauce on rice by adding one drop each day, but she learned. It wasn’t necessarily what she wanted but the price she paid to be able to win her adopted people.”

About the author

Austin Gardner is pastor of Vision Baptist Church in Alpharetta, GA. Previously he was church planting missionary in Peru for 20 years.

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