Missionaries are commissioned to travel across the world to a different nation to proclaim the gospel. Mission trips vary from constructing a shelter to providing nourishment and medical care to others. Our readers have been asking what initiated the thought of missions in the first place. What is the ultimate goal for both missionaries and mission trips? Also, what inspired these international journeys and why is it so significant? Continue reading below to receive your answer.
What is the goal of missionary work? The ultimate accomplishment that Christian missionaries aspire to do is proclaim the gospel to the different nations. This is from a specific Bible verse found in the book of Matthew where Christ, God’s only son, commanded His disciples to spread the Lord’s name to every continent on Earth.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.Matthew 28:19-20
Who are Missionaries?
Christian missionaries are followers of Christ who travel the world to share the gospel with non-believers. They set foot into a different culture and build relationships with others on the field they are serving in. This is to show others the truth of the gospel.
Missionaries give with their servant’s heart. This means that they go to assist other countries without expecting anything in return. They provide their services in appreciation and gratitude from the blessings God gives them.
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.Galatians 5:13
The Purpose of A Missionary
A missionary’s purpose is to follow the Lord and go wherever He calls them to go. The book of 1 Peter in the Bible explains what a missionary is supposed to do.
For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps…1 Peter 2:21
Since Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself on the cross for all of humanity’s sins, Christians are now called to spread His truth and salvation to the rest of the world. A follower of Christ is thankful and honored to receive forgiveness from the Lord for their sins and wrong-doings.
The Duties of A Missionary
A missionary may perform his or her work through formal teaching in a classroom or religious setting or through informal communication. Many missionaries perform acts of community building. The particular mission’s goal may depend on the skillset and education of the missionaries.
A missionary with a background in education, for example, may serve as a teacher in another country. Missionaries with construction experience may use their skills and knowledge to help a community in need of building infrastructure.
The most important duty of missionaries is to teach people about Jesus Christ and His great commandment to love God and to love others. This means ensuring that their actions not only fulfill a need but also are sustained after they have left the community. Many missionaries focus on the needs of the communities they are serving and integrate those needs with evangelism.
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”Matthew 22:38-39
The Ultimate Goal of Every Missionary & Missions Work
To proclaim the gospel is the ultimate goal of the Church. Many people ask what a missionary really does on the field, so here is a variety of ambitions and accomplishments that a missionary has while serving at their location.
Restoring and Teaching The Gospel of Jesus Christ
To come to the Savior, people must have faith in Him which leads to repentance. This is by making the necessary changes to bring their life into agreement with the Lord’s teachings through the Bible. A missionary can help and motivate people to develop such faith and grace by teaching them the restored gospel. This is through the Holy Spirit and welcoming them to commit to living according to its teachings. Keeping this commitment prepares them for the covenant of baptism and confirmation and the precious gift of the Holy Ghost.
Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.1 Peter 3:21
Show God’s Truth
Both the mission-field and a missionary’s main aspiration is to assist with accomplishing the Lord’s master plan. God’s ultimate goal is for all to come to Him.
The importance of sharing God’s truth is to not only tell non-believers about the gospel but to also give them the opportunity to be saved and accept Christ into their hearts. To transform and change their lives for the better, by providing light, love, and positivity into their lives.
When a missionary shares the truth of God with them, they are exposed to a new way of living through love and liberation through the Lord, Himself.
Have A Giving Heart
A missionary’s main priority is to let their neighbors know they love and care for them no matter the situation they are going through. Having a servant heart shows that they are giving their acts of service through the Lord’s wisdom and not for their own righteousness.
When a disciple pursues missions and also the Lord, they are continuing the identity of humanity (which is being a son or daughter of God). Having a servant’s heart means a person will do whatever they need to do to help others regardless of the pay, job description, or location of their occupation that needs to be performed. A servant’s pay is in terms that the world is not good at all, but God blesses his children. Their pay is being stored up for them in Heaven, when they go home, the rejoicing will be great, for God loves a servant after His own heart.
The book of Philippians states that a person with a selfish or egotistical demeanor does nothing for the Lord. Living in a life with humility and graciousness shows more importance to the Lord than the accomplishments that someone has done for another person.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.Philippians 2:3
Bring Love and Unity
Christians all over the world are meant to love and forgive their enemies. Missionaries show the others who live on their field, about God’s truth. They bring a sense of hope back into their life through bringing friendship, communication, counseling, and love to the civilians there.
Attributes of A Successful Missionary
From positivity to being an influencer, a missionary needs to have these different attributes to be a successful disciple.
Charity and serving is the pure love of Christ. It includes God’s eternal love for all His children. All Christians are to seek to develop that kind of love. When someone is filled with charity, they obey God’s commandments and do all they can to serve others and help them receive the restored gospel.
According to Matthew, Jesus’ final public teaching prior to his crucifixion is a story that ties together the final judgment and Christian charity. Here’s his point: those only will endure his judgment and be welcomed into restored paradise who continue his mission of caring for the naked, the hungry, the sick, and the imprisoned.
The Bible teaches to love God and to love neighbor are the greatest commandments. Charity is not an optional extra, but an essential component of faith. In the book of Proverbs, the Holy Word identifies those who are poor and in injustice will not be judged, financially stable they are, but on the way that we treat others.
Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.Proverbs 31:8-9
Virtue originates in a person’s innermost thoughts and desires. It is a pattern of thought and behavior based on their high moral standards. Since the Holy Ghost does not dwell in unclean tabernacles, virtue is a prerequisite to receiving the Spirit’s guidance. What a missionary chooses to think and do when they are alone and no one is watching is a strong measure of someone’s virtue.
Virtuous people are clean and pure spiritually. They focus on righteous, uplifting thoughts and put unworthy thoughts that lead to inappropriate actions out of their minds. Christians obey God’s commandments and follow the counsel of Church leaders. They pray for the strength to resist temptation and do what is right. A follower of Christ quickly repents of any sins or wrongdoings. They live worthy of a temple recommend.
Patience is the capacity to endure delay, trouble, opposition, or suffering without becoming angry, frustrated, or anxious. It is the ability to do God’s will and accept His timing. When you are patient, you hold up under pressure and are able to face adversity calmly and hopefully. Patience is related to hope and faith, you must wait for the Lord’s promised blessings to be fulfilled.
Humility is the willingness to submit to the will of the Lord and to give the Lord the honor for what is accomplished. It includes gratitude for His blessings and acknowledgment of your constant need for His divine help. Humility is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of spiritual strength.
When you humbly trust Him and acknowledge His power and mercy, you can have the assurance that His commandments are for your good. You are confident that you can do whatever the Lord requires of you if you rely on Him. You are also willing to trust His chosen servants and follow their counsel. Humility will help you as you strive to be obedient, to work hard, and to serve selflessly.
Diligence is a steady, consistent, earnest, and energetic effort in doing the Lord’s work. The Lord expects you to work diligently—persistently and with great effort and care. A diligent missionary works effectively and efficiently. Diligence in missionary work is an expression of your love for the Lord and His work. When you are diligent, you find joy and satisfaction in your work.
As a missionary, you are expected to keep the commandments willingly, to obey mission rules, and to follow the counsel of your leaders. Obedience is the first law of heaven. It is an act of faith. You may sometimes be required to do things you do not completely understand. As you obey, you increase in faith, knowledge, wisdom, testimony, protection, and freedom.
3 Aspects For An Efficient Mission Trip
Leaving their home country to venture to a significantly different culture is not easy for a missionary. They are stepping foot onto land that lives in a contrasting lifestyle, alongside that, they are living with others on a team away from home. Here are three specific aspects for a mission team to pursue the results of a successful mission trip.
- Determine their purpose
- Preparing as a team
- Having a servant’s heart
1. Determining Their Purpose
A missionary who is successful understands their identity in Christ. A disciple that has traveled to show other’s God’s love, has the purpose of inviting others to come to Christ by assisting and inspiring them to receive the gospel through repenting and seeking the Lord into their heart. A missionary that determines their main purpose through the Lord, shows they will spread the word of God even if the result is going into a life-threatening culture. No matter the amount of persecution or condemnation of that society will shake a missionary’s faith. They know the purpose why they have been called from the Lord, to proclaim the gospel to that nation and love those lost people.
2. Preparing as A Team
When missionaries are preparing their group, they don’t confuse cross-cultural awareness with discipleship or ministry skills. One is an intellectual skill and the other is the spiritual skill. They recognize that most cross-cultural sensitivity training is going to boil down to a list of “do’s and don’ts.”
The most important ministry skillset is sensitivity to the direction of the Holy Spirit. Commissioned disciples who don’t know how to listen and communicate with the mission trip team, maybe causing segregating issues with their team. That’s not to disparage the importance of going on a team to proclaim the gospel, but they must recognize how valuable a listening ear is in any team setting, in a different culture or not.
Alongside that, a team should get to know each other and share their testimonies with each other before traveling across that world in a different culture. They should also learn boundaries for each other and how to confront someone if there is a social issue happening.
3. Having A Servant’s Heart
Lastly, another important aspect of a successful mission-trip is for the missionaries to not travel to convert people. Proclaiming the gospel is not about the number of accomplishments someone succeeds across the world. Like mentioned before, a good, loving, and authentic disciple goes on the mission field to help with a serving heart and expect nothing in return.
Do your very best to bring souls to Christ, and seek earnestly to learn and improve.President Gordon B. Hinckley
Types of Missionary Works and Examples
Types of Mission Trips
- Business as Missions
- Church Building
- Early Childhood Education
- Medical Missions
- Social Justice
1. Business as Missions
Business missionaries focus more on the entrepreneur and economical-side for the field. These Christians open doors of opportunity for many civilians by contributing to them a substantial occupation. When a business missionary opens a business a different culture that they are serving in, creates unity in the community and local jobs to provide food on the table, a house to live in, and clothing on their backs for their families.
For business, a good example would be missionaries opening their own coffee shop on the field they are serving in. One missionary, located in a secluded part of Africa, created a coffee shop that provided occupations for the civilians who live there. He has jobs for his employees which he has to train them to clean, create an order, and replicate his recipes. This anonymous man talks to the locals when they walk into his shop and prays, listens, and provides a nice warm cup of coffee to express his love for Jesus to them.
2. Church Building
Church Building missionaries go to a country where the majority of the churches are very rare-and-few. The missionaries create a building for foreign people to go to. Building a church on a mission field provides memorable moments of opportunity to proclaim the gospel with other people groups. Finding and constructing a church also provides others a safe and sacred place to learn about the Father.
An illustration of church building mission trips is about a man who served in Brazil for over five years. He built up a church with his wife and ten-year-old daughter. It took two years to construct a building with more than thirty people to attend his sermons. The man has brought the Lord’s light and truth to over nine people, with one in particular who wouldn’t even set foot into the church until the pastor prayed for healing for her sister, and she was instantly healed from being blind.
3. Early Childhood Education
While other missionaries are called to help the providers of the families, Early Childhood Education missionaries have the younger generations on their hearts. These believers go to a different culture to gift an education spiritually and academically. They play, love, and tend for the younger boys and girls. Early Childhood Education missionaries not only teach the students in the country they are serving in, but they also learn the foreign language themselves to be able to teach the young ones.
A lady went to India and taught through an internship with her church at a local school in a small village. A little girl asked her dad one day about Jesus and noticed how he got angry and frustrated. As a result, the child went to the woman’s missionary and answered all the questions her student had about the Lord. When the little girl went home and told her mother what the teacher said, the mom went to the school and also has a list of questions about the Christian faith. A year later, the mother sought the Lord for salvation and influenced her husband about God.
4. Medical Missions
Medical missionaries who go for more of the medical side of a trip are trained professionals who stay for a designated period of time. The teammates that this mission team consists of speech therapists, surgeons, registered nurses, etc. These missionaries go to help increase the health of the nation they are serving in. Many deprived countries have a necessity to advance medical assistance and have the necessity for a sense of hope. Medical missionaries go to show the Lord’s truth, love, by helping their patients with the critical conditions that they are possibly in. These missionaries bring the Lord’s love and light to their hopeless and melancholy lifestyle.
A man served in New Delhi (India) as a registered doctor. He just graduated from university and was called from the Lord to serve in this location. He also served over there for twenty-three years. The first seven years he was there he helps create a hotel for critically-ill civilians. It took three years to build the care center and he had to learn, by himself, how to speak the language and run a hospital in a completely different culture. He has provided cures and treatments for over 100 people within his first five years serving there. This man also shares his love of Jesus to his patients and even has a small church-gathering in the lobby of the hospital.
5. Social Justice
Social Justice missionaries go to this type of mission field because it includes helping others (who live in the country they are serving in) who are lost, scared, and held in bondage. There are various types of social justice positions in this type of mission group. Such as the ones who evangelize to the homeless, prostitutes, etc. Also, there are those who go find the hidden areas which hold forced women in hostage for human-trafficking. The last position is the ones who want to go to the nation to help children and adults who are being forced into work-labor and are treated unfairly.
To illustrate, a missionary went to India to pray and evangelize to the homeless. A woman who was there didn’t know about God, but when he helped her get a job, which consists of creating handmade purses. Five weeks later, the woman listened to man’s testimony and then repented for her sins that she has committed. Right before he went to leave back to Australia, the man gave her his Bible. She kissed his wrist and gave her blessings for showing her hope and a future again.
This is the last type of mission field type. Volunteering missionaries are the ones who provide the manual labor to help out an organization, church, or school. The majority of volunteers spend their time serving by digging, cleaning, drilling, painting, and repairing different homes and buildings for the community. These missionaries will get the chance to talk to the other people groups about the Lord and be able to share the gospel with them. This is an efficient way for the missionaries to show their trustworthiness and display how the Lord has transformed their lives to a non-believer with their testimony.
Lastly, here is an example of a volunteering mission trip. A woman served in Belize for her university. When she arrived at her destination, she had no knowledge of the culture and was there to construct a school for their village’s community. She was remodeling a classroom with her mission team when a girl goes up to her and asked why she was helping them. When she responded by explaining how Jesus told her to help, the sweet child then grew curious about God and ask multiple questions. By the time the woman left to come back to America, the little girl asked the Lord for salvation and was baptized with a water bottle.
To read more in-depth about these different types of mission types, read our blog Christian Missions: Definition, Biblical Examples, & How-to