Helpful Tips to Join a Missions Team
John Henry, Director
Our ministry focus is to train and send people of all ages, especially those who are young at heart, into all kinds of missions activities. Youth With A Mission has three main emphases, Evangelism (because everyone has a right to hear the good news of Jesus Christ), Training (because every willing person needs preparation for their unique calling), and Mercy Ministries (because there are people in our neighborhoods, and at the ends of the earth, who suffer injustice).
We are pioneering, which means we are working with limited resources and people to establish a ministry and fulfill the goal of training and sending people as witnesses of Jesus Christ in their neighborhoods and to the nations. So, I frequently speak with people who are praying about joining our YWAM staff team to help.
Recently, I had a conversation with a former YWAMer who senses God calling her to return to serve full-time with YWAM. Someone gave her a personal prophetic word, which created some confusion for her. Because she knows I have been a faith missionary for 32 years, she asked for advice. With her permission, I’m passing along notes from that conversation, which may be helpful for anyone seeking to serve in missions:
1. TRUST that God will fulfill his will in your life. A personal prophecy is not a puzzle you need to put together. Prophecy is for edification and encouragement. Therefore, do not try to make a personal prophecy come to pass, but rather trust God to confirm and affirm that he is leading you.
2. GUIDANCE flows from good RELATIONSHIPS, beginning with your relationship with God. The apostle Paul writes, “Christ’s love compels us” (2 Cor. 5:14), meaning our relationship with him leads us. Tom Marshall, author of the book Right Relationships, writes: “Relationships are built on four key elements: Love, which last longest; Trust, which is the most fragile; Respect, which is most often neglected; and Understanding, which takes the most time.” Work to maintain good relationships, so that God may guide you.
3. TEAM MINISTRY is required to create a community of Christ-followers. If you want to serve a community, you need to be like those who hold up the poles of a tent covering a community. A good ministry team provides the safety of caring relationships, which is necessary to make disciples. If you are not yet part of a ministry team, volunteer to serve in your church. Work closely with a few people of character, capacity, and chemistry so you can learn how team ministry forms and expands community.
4. BE SENT with the blessing and support of your church community. It’s always better to be sent, than went. Whether you go for long-term or short-term, ask a respected person from your home community to meet and pray with you as you prepare to go. Read Steve Shadrach’s book, The God Ask, and Betty Barnett’s book, Friend-Raising, for specific instructions about raising a team of ministry partners to support your work in full time missions.
5. ASK QUESTIONS about everything you can think of about the new ministry setting. Begin building relationships and engage with the vision and the staff right away. When you seek to become part of the team before you even arrive, you demonstrate that you are ready to be part of a community with fruitful ministry.
If you have questions about how you can be involved, reach out to us at 609-938-9312. I’ll be happy to talk with you about your next steps of faith with God.