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Missionary Guidance

Overcoming Parent Objections to Missions


Written by Madeline Peña

You are called to missions. But your parents don’t seem to agree. They ask questions you don’t have the answers to. Having answers can offer clarity on a topic that seems daunting. Have no fear. We have interviewed the President of Bethany Global University, Dave Hasz, for some key answers to our parent’s difficult questions. The interview with Dave Hasz sheds crucial light on the murky places we haven’t yet thought of. Hasz provides insight into the toughest questions, asked by the most concerned parents. Remember that your parents love you and want the best for your life. And as sons and daughters, we have the God-given command to honor our fathers and mothers. Yes, even when there is disagreement. Not all parents may understand our call to missions, and that’s okay. The call to missions didn’t come with a guide on how to handle objecting parents. You have received the call and you are trusting Jesus for the rest. This post will help determine respectable answers to the tough questions.  

Questions Objecting Parents May Ask:

How do you know you’re called?

“A missionary serving anywhere must know that’s where God has uniquely designed them to invest their energy for the place that they’re in”. I asked Dave Hasz, “How did you know you were called?” Ways to Understand Your Calling:
  1. You have prayed about it, and have received the call from the Lord
  2. You have the skill sets, heart, and passion for missions
  3. You have sought counsel, and have received confirmation from trusted mentors, parents, and advisors
“These all form an arrow pointing towards serving interculturally to bring the Gospel across barriers between the lives of people who are resistant or unknowing of Jesus”, Hasz says.

“A Passion for the Lost”

“The calling for me wasn’t a lightening strike or a hand writing on the wall… it was understanding the way the Lord has gifted me, the stiring of my heart and my strong passion for the lost”

– Dave Hasz

How will you support yourself?

“I will support myself in a number of ways”, Dave Hasz explains through the lens of a missionary. By attending Bethany Global University, I will go through a process called “Partnership Development“. This will teach me how to build a team of people that are a support network for long-term missions.  It is not just about financial provision. My team is a network of people supporting my call in the Great Commission. This support not only includes finances, but prayer, emotional support, and communication also.

Hasz says that as a missionary, we will support ourselves by being dependent upon the Lord to potentially bring opportunities of personal income, depending on where we serve in the world.

And just in case you were wondering… Visas do not typically hinder income in another country. A visa can actually allow a missionary to work for their own personal salary.

Can’t you serve Jesus at home?

“Absolutely”, Hasz agrees. It is possible to serve Jesus anywhere you are. However, that does always mean you are being obedient to Him. And as a follower of Jesus Christ, we must be obedient. Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15 KJV). You are only being obedient in staying at home if Jesus has made that clear. Otherwise, you serve Jesus obediently by going out into the world. That is what Jesus commanded first and foremost. He did not say to stay in your own nation. So then, the default should be to go into the world unless Jesus makes it clear to stay at home. Jesus already called you to go, when He said His last command, the Great Commission (Matthew 28).

Is it worth it?

“Is it worth it to obey God?” Yes, always. But your parents might be wondering if you have counted the cost of what it means to serve as a missionary. If they know anything about missions, they know it is no easy task. As a cross-cultural missionary, there is a great sacrifice. Leaving comfortability, family, and most security at home is apart of that sacrifice, however, it is worth it.
“All of our servanthood is worth the sacrifice Jesus paid at the cross. We get to go out and win for the Lamb the reward of His sacrifice. Worthy is He. He is worthy.”

– Dave Hasz

“Any sacrifice we’re making is minimal compared to the sacrifice Jesus made to bring the Good News to the world,” says Hasz with conviction. Nothing could be truer. Our parents are concerned for legitimate reasons, and we have to keep in mind that our parents are sacrificing their hopes and desires as well. This is true, yet ultimately the sacrifice for Christ is always worth it because He is worthy of our lives laid down.

Don’t you want to get married?

The normality in our culture is to get married. This is normal in most cultures, and it is very normal for our parents to desire our marriage. Most people’s answer to this question is,  “yes, I do want to get married”. We have to explain to our parents that missions will not rob marriage from our futures. Whether we are a missionary or stay at home in any occupation, every adult will have to rely on the Lord to bring their future spouse. Dave Hasz asks us to consider these priorities before we think about marriage.
  1. Prioritize obedience to Christ before marriage
  2. Trust that God will provide all that you need (including a spouse)
  3. Be patient with the Lord, and wait only on Him
Be ready to sacrifice for God’s calling on your life and He will bless your obedience. Remember to encourage your parents to trust the Lord as well, even with your potential husband or wife. Remind your parents that your highest calling is not marriage. “Your highest calling is to obey Christ and to take the Gospel to the lost,” Hasz reminds us. Hasz explains the beauty of marriage on the mission field saying,
“What a great thing to be walking in your calling and to look over and see someone doing it alongside you, that person can eventually become a mate and that’s fantastic.

– Dave Hasz

Shouldn’t you get a real job?

This is a sensitive question for both parents and potential missionaries. It is key for any potential missionary to remember that if a missionary is not working very hard, they are not being faithful to the Lord. Explain to your parents that missions work is a real job. What your parents might truly be asking is, “shouldn’t you get a job that has the security of being paid?”
“Missionaries work diligently and very hard. As a missionary, we invest in the lives of people to see the Kingdom established.”

– Dave Hasz

Due to the idea of partnership development, parents may be concerned about your reliance on others provision. Hasz sheds light on the subject. “As a missionary, we give others the opportunity to invest in the Kingdom. Practically, effectively, and personally, other’s financial provisions are given to reach the lost.” We have to remember that there is never a job that is ultimately secure. Companies waiver and fail constantly. Resources run low and income trickles. There will never be a company with absolute security. Hasz begs the question: “Who is our source of security?” Is it our employer, personal skills, our career, or is our security in Jesus Christ?

Is it safe?

Tomorrow is never truly guaranteed. We cannot predict what will happen, even in our own neighborhood or nation. Most parents are actually concerned about whether you are taking unnecessary risks. We are able to offer the answer that we are not willing to take unnecessary risks. This is a Scriptural idea. Hasz reminds us of Luke 4:12, “And Jesus answered him, ‘It is said: Do not test the Lord your God'”.
“I believe the safest place on Earth is in the center of God’s will. That is where I want to stay and to look to Him to be my protector. If death should take me, that is okay. I will have invested my life for the Kingdom’s sake. I will faithfully follow the plan the Lord has for me, I am not being reckless”.

– Dave Hasz

Hasz concludes, explaining that followers of Jesus must “be wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16).

Parents and Missionaries

It is valid for parents to be concerned. Sometimes the faith of children can challenge the faith of parents. Hasz asks objecting parents to reconsider.
“Do we, as parents, have the confidence to release our children into the hands of God? We are not the ones to provide safety, comfort, and security. We must release our children into the hands of God. Let us not allow the faith of our children supersede our faith”.

– Dave Hasz

Give them time to trust Jesus with your life, as you are choosing to trust Him. Agreement or disagreement, as a Christ-follower, we are still called to respect and honor our parents. Stay true to the conviction that the Lord has placed on your life, and let God do the rest.

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