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Have I Been Called?

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It’s worth taking time to find out if God has really called you to cross-cultural work before you step on the plane. A handy little guide to help you do just that.
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  Have I Been Called  ?  Simple answer:  Yes, we are all called to make followers of Jesus among every people group. Less simple answer:  It’s worth taking a little time to find out if God really has called you to cross-cultural work before you jump on the plane. Two starting principles Two starting principles ã Firstly, you shouldn’t be reading this if you haven’t already started talking to your own church leader-ship (but you’ve started now so you may as well finish!). Best place to start is with your home church on board: they know you and can support you as you explore God’s calling. They will recognise God’s call on your life (Acts 13:1-3) and support you in your adventures. ã Secondly, if God says something to you, don’t keep asking for advice, confirmation and signs indefi-nitely. If you know God has spoken to you, do not doubt it, no matter what we or anyone else may say (James 1:5-7). The experience of others As we journey with you we trust God will lead us in your preparation, and give us glimpses of his plan for you. We will also look for the effects of God’s calling coming out in your life. What does this mean? People who have gone to serve long term have tended to do some of the following: 1. Learn about God’s heart for the world in Scripture 2. Learn from others’ experience; get praying for cross-cultural work 3. Learn about other countries and religions, and how to share the gospel 4. Share their calling with the church and the church leaders 5. Get actively involved in church life 6. Pray through personal pastoral issues and seek to mature as a person We are not searching for the finished article (like it exists), and this is by no means the checklist for a successful candidate, but we encourage you to get stuck in, because through these activities we can see that God is leading you, and God can show you where you’re going. Remember we are people who are committed to growing personally (Phil 3:14), and, in cross-cultural work in particular, we are looking for “teachability”. Still, we have seen people who have left out some of the things outlined above and come unstuck later on! If some of them are missing or lacking, we might advise you to spend a little more time in preparation and checking out the call. It may not be a long time, but long enough to make sure the foundations are solid! 1. God’s heart for the world in Scripture We suggest looking at one of the many books available on the subject, e.g. Let the Nations be Glad   by John Piper or T he Mission of God’s People: A Biblical Theology of the Church’s Mission  by Chris Wright. Possi-bly take a  Kairos  course (www.kairoscourse.info), and look at God’s heart for the world and our purpose in it - about 40 hours over a number of weeks. You could listen to Our God is a Missionary God   by John Stott which outlines that God’s heart, from Genesis to Revelation, is for all the nations to know Him (www. johnstottmemorial.org/life-passion/audio-recordings/). As well as regular teaching at church we recom-mend ensuring your basic theology is solid. Try Bruce Milne’s book: Know the Truth . Written by J M. Bell   2. Learn from others’ experience  Take opportunities to listen to workers and to talk with them.  Jesus Says Go  by Robin Wells covers those “what if” questions and should get you fired up about a life of mission. Carl Medearis tells incredible stories of Jesus working where we tend to think he is not (carlmedearis.com/audio.html). Miraculous Movements: How Hundreds of Thousands of Muslims Are Falling in Love with Jesus  by Jerry Trousdale is envisoning. Nik Ripken shares his experience in Somalia in two challenging books: The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected and  The Insanity of Obedience: Walking with Jesus in Tough Places. Sign up to receive an encouraging e-zine: The Journey which will help equip you (www.frontiers.org.uk ).If you feel that you are called to work with Muslims it would make sense to pray for people in Muslim ministry. Sign up to receive monthly prayer updates On your knees  ( www.fron-tiers.org.uk  ). Contact agencies to re-ceive prayer letters of workers in your region of interest. Prayer information from all over the Muslim world can be obtained from Fellowship of Faith For Muslims ( www.f-f-m.org.uk  ). 3. Learn about other countries and religions, and how to share the gospel We recommend: Attending a Frontiers training event such as a Reach  day – www. frontiers.org.uk/get-inspired/ for dates. Friendship First   by Steve Bell (is a book or course) helping ordinary Christians discuss good news with ordinary Muslims (available from Frontiers or Interserve). Nick Chatrath has written a guide called Reaching Muslims . Carl Medearis writes that we should be pointing people to Jesus, not Christianity, in Muslims, Christians, and Jesus: Gaining Understanding and Building Relationships . Colin Chapman’s classic Cross and Crescent   is well worth reading. Please email for more recommendations. The debate Who is God and How are We Saved   (on Youtube) explores contentious issues between Muslims and Christians – a help to share more effectively and avoid fruitless arguments. Take an interest in the country or region God puts on your heart. Check out news websites. Pray. Also, make some friends from these countries. Get involved with international student or immigrant ministry. 4. Share your calling with the church and the church leaders  These people know you best and can advise you. Raising your support base is vital and this will generally come from friends and your church, so share your vision with them as it develops. Many agencies will not accept candidates if they do not have the support of their church. Biblically (Acts 13), the church recog-nises God’s call on your life and will send you out and support you in prayer.  Have you been called  ?   Let’s keep talking! Our aim is to help you discern God’s call on your life, serve you and glorify God. Why not contact us through the website or give us a call? Your journey to the Muslim world starts right here! 5. Get actively involved in church life  “For individuals serious about discerning their appointment from God to establish churches among Mus-lims, the single most important factor is previous active participation in the life of the church; to under-stand what a church is and how it functions and to have practical experience in labouring to build up the church body” (Greg Livingstone: Planting Churches in Muslim Cities ). 6. Pray through personal pastoral issues and seek to mature as a person If you or others recognise any issues that need addressing, seek to address them and grow. Issues such as self image, how we see God (“Is he a loving Father?”), our ability to resolve disagreement and conflict with others, our attitude to leadership and being prepared to press on through difficulty and still know the delight of a relationship with God are all important on the field and need to be built in early. Digital resources (click to visit): ã Get Inspired Resources: frontiers.org.uk/getinspired/  ã Other Info and resources oscar.org.uk, christianvocations.org ã Highlighting unreached people groups joshuaproject.net, peoplegroups.org ã What’s going on in world outreach missionfrontiers.org, brigada.org ã Prayer: 24-7prayer.com, 30-days.net, operationworld.org   Romans 8:29 - At the foundation of all this must be a strong prayer life. Only as we spend time with God can we be made more like him and get his direction. web: www.frontiers.org.uk | tel: 0303 333 5051 | email: info@frontiers.org.uk 

Sana

Jul 23, 2017
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