10 Misconceptions About Being a Missionary

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What does it mean to be a missionary? People have different ideas about life and work as a missionary. We want to explore a few common misconceptions so we can better understand what it means to follow God’s call to share the gospel throughout the world.

1.You need to go to seminary.

Many missionaries have studied theology, and there are plenty of opportunities to serve with Resonate Global Mission—the mission agency of the Christian Reformed Church—that do require theological training. But God’s mission is in all sectors. He needs teachers, engineers, biologists, accountants, and communicators too. You don’t need to have the entire Bible memorized to join Resonate’s work in God’s mission. If God calls you, he’ll equip you—you just need your own unique skills and interests, a willingness to learn, and a growing relationship with God.

2. You will talk about Jesus 24/7.

Evangelism is one part of Resonate’s work, though it doesn’t look like someone wandering the streets and shouting Bible verses. God calls us to be the hands and feet of Jesus, too. Resonate shares the love of Christ in word and action, and that’s why we have so many different service opportunities in education, leadership training, community development, and more.

3. You will live in the jungle in a hut.

Resonate missionaries live in many countries around the world, including Canada and the United States. Some live in metropolitan cities, some in small towns, and some in remote villages. Some serve a few miles from their hometown, and some a few hundred miles. Most missionaries live in houses or apartments. In many situations, you’ll have access to air conditioning, WiFi, television, and other familiar comforts if you want them. You’ll just need to be willing to adapt, be flexible, and be willing to embrace a local culture.

4. You have to be adventurous and love to travel.

There are missionaries who hike to remote villages or travel to many different places, but that’s often only one aspect of their work. Many missionaries live and work in one community. They also have their fair share of administrative responsibilities.

5. You need cross-culture experience.

Prior cross-culture experience is helpful, but it isn’t always necessary. Resonate will provide training and resources to help you learn how to adapt to a new culture and best interact with your community.

6. You have to be a certain age.

“I’m too old!” or “I’m too young!” We hear them both, and that’s simply not true. God calls everyone, regardless of age. 

7. Once a missionary, always a missionary.

God calls missionaries to serve in a specific position anywhere from a few months to several years. Resonate has opportunities for both short-term and long-term service.

8. You’ll be living in danger.

The Bible does not promise personal or physical safety. No matter where you’re living, safety is never a guarantee—but Resonate will never send you to places where we aren’t able to help protect you and keep you safe. Resonate will provide resources and training for your safety on the field, and we closely monitor any security risks if they arise. 

9. You can’t afford it.

Raising support is intimidating, but Resonate provides resources and connections so you can find people to partner with you in prayer and financial support.

10. You will “bring God” to people.

Wherever you go, God is already there. That’s why one of Resonate’s core postures is listening. God calls and invites you to join his mission in the world—and that means you better be ready for God to work in incredible ways, in unlikely places, and through unlikely people. Be ready to listen and learn as the Holy Spirit works through you!

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All true!  As a former missionary I can affirm them.  Though, in a good sense, I think it's true that "once a missionary, always a missionary."