Feeling like God may be stirring and/or steering you to be more engaged in missions? Here are some good first steps to begin cultivating a missions lifestyle. Start with 3 or 4 ideas.
1. Abiding with Jesus. Spend extravagant time with God. Pray and seek Him to reveal more of Himself to you. Worship Him. Be still and listen to Him. John 15:5 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
2.Go deeper in God’s Word – not just a chapter here and a chapter there, but read through it chronologically. The Story of the Bible reveals to us God’s mission. Find a reading plan that takes you through the entire Bible in 6 months or a year. Make it a goal to read the entire Bible at least once a year.
3. Find a missionary mentor. Are there exemplary Christians around you living out their role in God’s global plan in the way they go, give, pray or welcome? Build a friendship with a missionary that your XA group is partnered with. You can email them questions, take them out for coffee when they’re in the States, follow them on Facebook or Instagram, etc. Schedule a zoom call. Ask your campus pastor for help.
4. Read missionary biographies. Here are some we recommend:
a. Bruchko by Bruce Olson
b. Afghanistan, My Tears by David Leatherberry
c. Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot by Elisabeth Elliot
d. A Chance to Die: The Death and Life of Amy Carmichael by Elisabeth Elliot
e. Faithful: Stories of Living with our Incredibly Faithful God by Bob and Murriel McCulley.
5. Go on short-term missions trips: Give a week, pray about a summer; give a summer and pray about a year; give a year and pray about a lifetime.
6. Pray for missionaries. If you have a missionary that you would like to stay connected with, ask them to add you to their newsletter list which will help you know how to pray. Pray for people groups. Joshua Project can help you know how to pray.
7. Sign up for your group’s leadership training class. Seize every opportunity you can to grow as a disciple-maker now. Don’t wait until you get on an airplane to start making disciples.
8. Be a part of XAi on your campus. Befriend an international student. If you care about the nations you’ll serve the nations at your “doorstep”.
9. Stay out of debt. If you are in debt, begin working to minimize your debt as much as you can. Simplify your life.
10. Talk to your small group and campus pastor for encouragement and accountability.
11. Grow in self-awareness. How are you physically, mentally and emotionally? What are areas that need to be healthier? Ask for input and ask for help.
12. Talk to your parents. It’s often better to include them in some decisions rather than inform them afterwards. Check out this helpful article about talking to your parents.