You shouldn’t be a missionary.
Everyone's giving you the reasons why, right? Whether you’re still in school, or your family doesn’t agree with you, or you don’t have the money to travel—it makes sense why you shouldn't do it.
Or should you?
Isn’t there part of you that wonders if you were made to experience wild adventure, not just watch it on YouTube?
Don’t you long to help people struggling across the world, not just see it on a Netflix documentary?
And couldn’t “missionary” mean way more than the outdated flyer on your church bulletin board?
This was how I felt.
But then it hit me—all the reasons why I shouldn't be a missionary.
You know what I'm talking about. One moment you think "maybe... this could actually happen", then the next moment you're persuaded out of it.
But do those reasons really matter?
It's time to find out.
So, here's thirteen reasons why you CAN be a missionary.
1. You don't have university degree.
Specific skills are helpful on the mission field, but university is not the only place you learn them. Think about your life up until now. What are you passionate about? What do people tell you you're good at, even if it's just normal for you? Your gifts and experiences really can impact people's lives. And if you still don't know your passion—going on a missions trip or serving in a ministry is a perfect place to discover it.
2. You don't have a missions-related degree.
Doctors, teachers, and pastors have a welcome place on the mission field—but what if you're a graphic designer, event planner, tradesman, or musician? They are desperately needed, too. Jesus called us to "Go into all the world" (Mark 16:15). Whether you know it or not, your skill is a wide-open door to reaching others.
3. You don't have ministry experience.
Growing up, I was a good Sunday School teacher and went on a two-week missions trip in high school. Did this give me the experience needed to be a missionary? No—but it inspired me. Nothing can fully prepare you for the mission field. But if you're a tiny bit interested in what being a missionary could like, that's all you need to start!
4. You don't have the money to travel.
So how on earth do you pay for it? Work, save, ask supporters, do fundraisers. But whatever is in your bank account, you need to know this in missions—you are not alone. There are always people willing to help and give, "and my God will supply every need of yours according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
5. You're not a perfect Christian.
You often hear missionaries casually tell stories of people getting saved in a village and how God spoke to them directly with a vision. Did they start out like that? Nope. And if they're seeing miracles, does it mean they're perfect? Nope. Every missionary is a human being who messes up—I know I do—yet God loves to work with us to transform people's lives.
6. You're not a Bible expert.
Should you know about the book that tells us who God really is? Definitely. But do you need to be a certified Bible historian before you become a missionary? No. And there’s something about reading the Bible in ministry that makes it come alive.
7. You don't speak multiple languages.
If I had to speak another language, I couldn't have become a missionary. Yes, being bilingual (or multi-lingual) connects you with so many more people! However, we're challenged in 1 John 3:18 to love not just with words or speech, "but with actions and in truth".
8. You're not an experienced traveller.
Traveling is a skill you learn and practice, not a supernatural gift! Search for tips on packing, look up the weather, or just ask someone around you. And don't freak out—there’s always someone in an airport who is happy to help.
9. You're single.
Back in the day, organisations required people to be married before becoming missionaries. Today, just wanting to "get married first" delays so many from going. It's normal to want to go with someone—God created us for relationship! But the community you can find in missions means you won't have to be alone. And hey, maybe you'll find that person you've been looking for all along.
10. You have a family.
You can't bring kids to the mission field—or can you? I'm sure glad my parents did, because I wouldn't have experienced the wild adventures, cross-cultural friendships, and radical Christianity that was (and still is) my family's normal life. Yes, it was rough at times. But I wouldn't ever trade growing up in missions. What if your family could experience the same?
11. You haven't even left the country.
Although part of the usual definition of “missionary” is someone sent to a foreign country, and “going” is a huge part of what I do, it doesn’t always look like what you expect. There’s missionary training and opportunities to serve in almost every country in the world—which means your first step could be just down the street.
12. Your family and friends don't get it.
No, you shouldn't ditch your family and totally disregard their input or authority in your life. However, if your family or friends don't understand why you want to be a missionary, that shouldn't stop you from considering it a possibility. Who knows—maybe they'll want to experience it for themselves.
13. It's not the right time.
I'd just graduated university, had great job opportunities, and needed to pay off my student loan. Becoming a missionary was the last thing on my mind. Or was it? Links kept popping up on Facebook, reminding me of the adventure I'd always longed for. The timing sucked. But somehow I clicked "Apply"... and four years later, I've never regretted it.
Wondering what your next step could look like?
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