The Best Missions Advice I Ever Received: Be Who God Made You To Be (guest post by Tyler Hess)

(Tyler Hess blogs about practical and spiritual applications of faith at undistractedchristian and you can follow him on twitterIf you want to write a guest post for missionsmusings, here’s how.)

Two years ago my wife and I went on what might be the riskiest adventure of our lives.

We gave up a fairly comfortable, boring life, in southern California to go minister at a church in the semi-foreign island of Kauia, Hawaii.

I know, I know, it is one of the United States, but it’s a different culture than what we were used to and for the first time in my life I was a minority.

We both grew up in church and we went to Bible college together, so we have heard all kinds of stories about different pastors, missionaries and evangelists doing crazy awesome things from town to town and nation to nation.

What we hadn’t heard until right before we left is the one thing that we needed to hear, which was that we didn’t have to be what other people expected us to be, that we didn’t need to pretend that we were something else entirely.

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,

for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ…

Eph 4: 11-12

My wife and I aren’t exactly what you would call “extroverts”.

We’re just quiet people, who like to listen before speaking and who care about getting to know people.

When people think about being a successful missionary, they think about how many people you lead to Christ, about great stories of evangelism and miracles along the way.

They don’t think about getting to know people and encouraging believers in the faith. They don’t think about getting a job and witnessing to co-workers while earning a normal paycheck, just like at home.

The greatest bit of wisdom that I can pass along to any hopeful or present missionaries is that whoever you are at home, that is who you should be when you go out from there, whatever that may be.

Do you know who you are in Christ?

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