All too often, when faced with the call to go—surrendering our lives to go to the foreign field to preach the gospel—we tend to think of reasons to stay. Here are the top five reasons people give:
This is perhaps the biggest reason many people end up saying no to the call. When my family was preparing to leave for the mission field, we asked ourselves questions like: “Will our kids be safe in Peru?” It is no wonder the Bible speaks so much about fear. In fact, it gives us a verse a day (365 verses) to help combat fear in our lives. We finally had to realize the best place for anyone to be is right in the center of God’s will for them. That does not necessarily make it the safest place to be but it does make it the most rewarding place to be.
Key Verse: 2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Leaving Family Behind
Admittedly, this was a tough area for us. Simply put, my parents were not completely on board with our transition to Peru, which made the decision to go even more difficult. But…we went. And God changed their hearts. A year later they visited us on the field and, after seeing what God was doing through us, my parents got it! They understood our need to obey the call and go.
Key Verse: Matthew 10:37-39 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
Worst Case Scenarios (Worry)
“I just know I’m going to be kidnapped and held for ransom or worse.” “The work will be so slow we will not make it through one full term.” “We are going to lose our kids if we go through with this. They will rebel.” These, and other statements, are joy killers and often keep the called away from the harvest.
Key Verse: Phil. 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Feelings of Inadequacy
Being a missionary, and all it entails, is a daunting task. No wonder most of us feel inadequate to do the job. Ironically, this is exactly the mindset God wants us to have. In and of ourselves, we cannot do it—it is Christ in us.
Key Verse: Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Questions/Doubts about Cultural Adjustments
When counting the cost, we tend to ask questions like: “Will the nationals accept me and my family?” “Will I be able to learn the language?” “Will I starve because I don’t like the food?” Though these are legitimate concerns, you must remember what God calls you to do He will equip you to do.
Key Verse: Phil. 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: