In his book Reaching the Nations Mike Frisby helps churches work with people who are engaged in cross-cultural mission. In his chapter ‘clarifying the call’ Mike says:
If we were honest most of us would like a definite unmistakable call to serve God, attended with supernatural signs. After all, wasn’t this the way it was for God’s servants in the past? (For example: Moses at the burning bush; Isaiah in the Temple; Saul on the Damascus road.)
Today, we still hear stories of similar dramatic encounters with God that set the course of a person’s life and ministry. However, the plain truth is that for most people their call to serve cross- culturally will be an on-going process over a period of time that builds to an utter certainty of the will of God for their lives. The important thing to remember is that God knows people individually and will lovingly guide him or her into the unique part He has planned for them to play in the extension of His kingdom on the earth.
On some occasions in the past people were sent to other nations who were not seemingly “well prepared and ready to go”. Nevertheless, those who proved in the end to be wonderfully effective in their cross-cultural ministry give testimony to the fact that it was a clear call to cross-cultural work in another nation that strengthened and sustained them through many difficult times.
So what are some of the common elements in this vital area of a person’s call to cross-cultural work in another nation? Mike then poses questions in the areas of motivation, realism, maturity, effective ministry, call of God and the local church to help the aspiring cross-cultural worker and their church discern their sense of call.
The questions are thoughtful, careful and very, very helpful. You can get the book here