I’m not sure if this runs true for a lot of youth that attended fellowships on Friday nights. Every year, we would transit down to Vancouver Convention Centre together, stuff our faces with some unhealthy food, then proceed to the Youth Rally at Missions Fest. Looking back, it seemed we looked forward more to the hanging out and concert-esque feel of the worship portion, than the speaker telling of their missions experience. For once, this year, Kelvin and I can proudly say we’re excited to go to Missions Fest because we are considering missions and want to do our research on which organization and where to go. Both of us never thought we’d be at this point in life and considering missions. We both had preconceived notions about missions, but it’s recently changed.
Past View on Missions
I’m not sure where exactly I got these notions and ideas about missions but here it is:
- Always was in a dangerous/hostile third world country.
- Had to commit for a long time (3-5 years).
- I needed to be deeply and so incredibly spiritually “mature” and knowledgeable like a pastor and charismatic enough to convey it in a brilliant presentation!
- It would be scary because I’d have to do it on my own and go to a new place with an unfamiliar language.
Essentially, I never thought I was called to be a missionary. My parents convinced me that only the charismatic ones are called and we can just support them financially and that would be our contribution to that ministry. I don’t blame them, if they had the same preconceived notion that missions was only in dangerous/hostile third world countries. But the thing is, my past view on missions was so amazingly wrong.
Current View on Missions
Why not go? We’ve been told by young and old, whether considering missions or been on missions, that there are usually 2 windows for going on missions: before kids, and after kids. We are in the earlier situation. Here’s what I think about missions now:
- It can be in a dangerous/hostile third world country, or it can even be in a developed nation. Most importantly though, it will be a country that desperately needs the gospel.
- What I used to think was a long time, isn’t really that long. Missions needs to have a 3-5 year commitment, at least,for your work to have any real lasting impact. Think about how long it may have taken you to bring your friend to church and have them come on a regular basis.
- Yes I need to have a firm grasp and understanding of the gospel and be spiritually mature in a sense, but I don’t need to be some charismatic, extroverted individual. Being on missions can take so many different forms, from helping in administration, to physical labour in building churches, teaching English, or anything really. It doesn’t always have to be preaching or giving a sermon which I mistakenly though missions was. God’s work is large and complex and requires all different skills and gifts. For Kelvin and I, we would truly enjoy partaking in some sort of youth ministry because that’s where we see our God given gifts, relating and building relationships with the youth.
- Yes it is going to be scary to up and move away from friends and family, and yes it’s going to be hard adapting to a new language and culture. But a friend Kyle said it most elegantly when he shared about his Japan missions work (I’m paraphrasing a bit), “Yes it is hard and scary to move away from your family support and foundations here in Vancouver, but God’s work is so much bigger compared to missing your family and friends.” And anyways, family can visit and we can go home to visit after say a 2 year term. Plus with technology, it’s so easy to keep in contact with those not living in the same city as you. Bonus for us, we’d be going together so we have each other.
So it’s going to be exciting heading down to Missions Fest this weekend to do our research and homework on what it’s really going to take to go on missions. From the preparation, to the financials, and training required.
Tell me, have you ever been on missions (long or short term) and what have your experiences been like?
Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!