The following applies to any Christian, but they are especially beneficial for a person wanting to do cross-cultural missions work.
Knowing how you tick is a great way to steward your future ministry. A part of this is knowing your strengths and weaknesses. It may be good to have this conversation with a pastor or mentor from your local church. Why not start with a spiritual gifts inventory test? Or maybe process with someone the talents and passions you possess. Here are a few great resources to explore Discerning Your Calling, Personality Test, or Strengths Finder.
It may also be worth processing your current capacity for ministry with someone. Can you share the gospel? Can you disciple? Can you teach from scripture? Processing areas of your life like this may help you better understand how you can serve effectively.
With your pastor or mentor, it may be helpful to process your spiritual maturity. How are you building up your affections for God? How are seeking to know him more? If you think becoming a missionary will automatically transform you into a highly spiritual personal, you’d be mistaken. It could be the exact opposite.
It’s helpful to process your spiritual maturity because the pressures of mission work can be intense. Having habitual spiritual disciplines already in your life can only be beneficial. Disciplines like Bible study and prayer are just a couple of things to begin doing.
- Mentoring and Accountability
Having a personal mentor who keeps you accountable can be really helpful. This could be anyone close to you or someone in your church; preferably someone older and wiser. You could even ask a missionary on home assignment for some regular counsel. Like the above mentioned, this mentor could help you with the self and spiritual awareness process. If face-to-face is possible, try for that. Also, the more regular it is the better.
- Get Cross-Cultural Experience
If you haven’t before, try going on a short-term cross-cultural missions trip. If you already have, go on more. You can never get too much exposure to cross-cultural contexts. Try to find a cross-cultural ministry that falls within your area of gifting too. This could be a good way to see how your passions and talents line up with mission work.