God’s greatest commandment is to love him, and others. We are to be holy as He is holy, set apart as a light in this dark world.
All believers are called to make disciples, be an example of the gospel, care for the sick and hurting, and share the good news of Jesus with all people. Sharing or showing this love and hope of Jesus, what we call missions, should not be a one-time thing, but a continuous lifestyle of following God and living a life pleasing to him.
What is a mission organization? A mission organization focus on fulfilling the Great Commission through supporting missionaries and mission trips. Their goal is to help spread the Gospel around the world.
In this blog post, I laid out different types of mission focuses, trips, and organizations you could consider, as well as training opportunities to look into.
Types of Mission Trips to Consider
There are so many types of ministries you can get involved in, here are a few kinds of ministries or mission trips to consider.
- Church Missions
- Community Development
- Disaster Relief
- Resources: Clean Water/Sanitation/ Food
- Children at Risk
- Church Planting
- Discipleship & Mentoring
- Youth Evangelism
- Bible Translation
- Human Trafficking
- Humanitarian Aid
- Vision Clinics
- Special Needs
- Sports Ministries
- Teaching English
- Pregnancy Clinics
- Prison Evangelism
Look at the gifts, desires, and passions God has given you. What might He want you to join?
One can’t be involved in everything, so ask God to show you what your skills are, and how you might be able to make a difference using the talents he’s given you.
How to Find Organizations
I found a website called Missions Finder is a good resources when looking for mission trips. It shows you Christian organizations from all over the world.
You can search for a specific region or type of ministry you are interested in, and it narrows down the search for you. It shows trip opportunities, and organizations to get involved with, all put into one website. It’s a good resource to even just get ideas of what you might want to do.
Possibly the most helpful resource was a free guide from Bethany Global University with all the information you need to know when looking for an organization. You should definitely check it out here.
Here are some more specific opportunities you can look into and join.
If one is looking to teach English, there is a non-profit organization called CIEE that not only provides housing, it also provides a monthly salary as well.
Christians are often quick to volunteer to teach, to raise support for living expenses, and I think God definitely calls people to do that. But I also think it is not wrong to receive salaries when teaching abroad.
Here are some opportunities CEII offers:
- Opportunities through this organization to teach are in China, Thailand, Spain, South Korea, Chile
- Each location requires a fee of $1500-2200 to be paid to get in depending on location. Half is to be paid for your deposit after acceptance, and the other half when you receive your placement.
- Once you start working, each site provides monthly salaries from $750-2650 a month.
- For the South Korea location, you will receive a studio apartment as housing, a one-way ticket will be purchased for you or reimbursed, includes a 150-hour TEFL certification course, no previous teaching experience is required. The program is for 12 months, and you will receive a salary of $1700-2000 a month plus the housing.
- For Spain, you would teach 16-hours per week, have a 4-day work week with 3-day weekends, $1150 a month, 24/7 support from CIEE staff in Spain, pre-departure assistance including visa guidance, 4-day orientation in Madrid with 7 total nights of hotel accommodation, placement within the community of Madrid, no Spanish language requirement.
- In Chile, housing is only provided for the first month and your salary is $750 a month, and for China, you receive a fully furnished apartment and salary of $1000-$2650.
- Each location is different, with different requirements, fees, housing, salaries, benefits, and opportunities.
God can use you even if you are getting paid and supporting yourself. Teaching, even through non-Christian programs, can provide ministries in itself of getting to know the students, and people you are working with.
It seems to be a great opportunity to get yourself in the door to other countries, and immersed in new cultures. By teaching alone, one could show the love of Christ and be a witness for him, not to mention all the people you will meet in between.
Human Aid Programs
To find organizations dedicated to helping against human poverty check Extreme Response International out. They are a registered non-profit organization in the United States, Canada, Ecuador, the Philippines, and South Africa.
Their programs and projects provide ways to help people get back on their feet by focusing on these three pillars:
- Education Reinforcement
- Life Skills & Livelihood Training
- Leadership Development
They have different ministries in South Africa, Ecuador, and the Philippines.
- South Africa Dream Center helps children stay in school by providing school supplies and funding.
- Quito Programs in Ecuador is where Extreme Response began… it is now a transfer station where garbage is sorted through and reloaded into trucks to be taken to a location outside the city. They operate the Quito Family Resource Center where they run the After-School Program and Women’s Program. They also operate a men’s skills development program in the Quito Dump. Most recently, they’ve added entrepreneurial training. Volunteer opportunities in the Quito Resource Center are in Child Development, Teaching/Tutoring, Medical Relief, Counseling Services/Home Visits, Home Construction, Family Development Workshops, Night Outreach, Quito Family Resource Center assistance, Christmas Celebrations, Livelihood Skills.
- In Manila, Philippines, ER started in 2018 a new community development program that focuses on helping women and families get free from economic hardship, low education, and a lack of opportunity. The program is called Pathway For Hope and seeks to provide a community in Manila, Philippines, with “holistic opportunities for people’s empowerment”.
- Also in Manila, Philippines, The Manila Children’s Home is a mission to care for at-risk young boys who have been neglected or abandoned. It takes a lot of staff to meet many needs – house parents, a cook, teachers, a social worker, and supervisors. Their goal is to provide an environment for the boys to feel safe, loved, and learn practical life skills.
- Golden Hands Livelihood in Manila, Philippines aim is to train, educate, and organize groups of women living in extreme and often life-threatening situations to spend productive time learning more skills. During the training, the women developed not only their skills but also business acumen, self-confidence, and valuable relationships.
- Christmas Outreach Teams serve with Extreme Response staff members, partners, and local volunteers as they provide gifts, food, games, crafts, face painting, and lots of hugs. They accept volunteers who are sponsored by their company, school, or church, as well as those coming as individuals, all of whom form a single team serving under ER leadership. Locations for these events are in Ecuador, the Philippines, and South Africa.
Each program is different, and to get more information on how you can get involved, check out their programs for yourself, and contact them to get more information.
To get training in leadership or get more involved in Extreme Response International, one can join their Leadership Development program. It is about providing leadership development to strategically place leaders around the world.
Their leadership program focus on:
- Strategic Training. Training that helps these leaders lead themselves, lead others, and lead their organizations better
- Applicable Resources. We connect leaders with resources and tools that will help them learn and develop into better leaders.
- Coaching Conversations. Our Leaders have access to Coaches who bring their experience and expertise to the conversation to encourage, challenge, and equip.
- A Leadership Community. Relationships are built through our Communities. Leaders and Coaches learn from each other. There is deep trust and relationship and these Communities become a vital support system for these Leaders.
If one is not wanting to get training and looking to jump into a role right away, one could consider other roles that need to be filled.
Other Organizations to Consider
Reach Beyond has urgent roles that need to be filled. They are a sending organization that wants unreached people everywhere to hear about Jesus, see Him in action, and learn how to follow Him.
They have a list of opportunities that have positions that need immediate filling.
Some roles are for medical professionals, radio broadcaster engineers, school teachers and directors, English language educators, digital communications assistants, teams coordinator.
One Collective is a faith-based Christian organization that has bases all over the world (in the U.S. and overseas) with communities focusing on the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the people.
Their goal is to build sustainability into organizations that are working to change the lives of people living in extreme situations.
They have bases in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa, North America. These bases as unique to their communities and connect with multiple other organizations, schools, and churches in the area. They have short-term groups to get involved with, and long-term opportunities as well.
MAF is another Christian organization. They use aviation and technology to reach people who may have geographic barriers like jungles, mountains, and deserts- or have social, political, or religious barriers.
MAF uses aviation and technology to overcome those barriers so that the love of Christ can be shared with these isolated people. Their work involves:
- Medical care, community development, education, church support, disaster response, technology, making disciples, Bible translation, training
Their motto is to bring hope to isolated people by providing ways lives can be transformed through medical care, educational opportunities, clean water, community development, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
MAF-US also collaborates with the Latin American affiliate programs and sister organizations in MAF International. Together they work with 34 countries listed on their website as well as restricted access countries not listed.
If you want to get involved you can serve overseas or at the head courters in Idaho. They have many volunteer opportunities.
Lastly, a smaller organization to look into is called Send Me. Their mission is to fulfill the Great Commission.
Their motto is to help individuals, churches, and missions organizations, by coming alongside them. They want to help you achieve your missional calling.
Look for Red Flags in Organizations
If you are considering a short-term trip, be careful when choosing which trip to go on.
Red flags to look out for are short-term trips that are very expensive. Of course, the plane ticket might be expensive, but I’m talking about the organization you choose for yourself.
If a trip that is only a week costs you a few grand, then you might have to consider if that organization just wants your money. If they are overcharging, ask yourself why?
Are they also keeping money for themselves in their organization or are they using it to benefit the people there?
If it is overpriced, make sure you know why. Maybe they tell you front up that they charge extra to help fund projects. You should check to make sure you know what they are charging you for.
Be careful, and don’t rush into trips that you have no previous connection with. Think about what God calls you to specifically. Maybe you can join your church in a team focused on something you have talents or giftings in.
Or maybe God is calling you to something you have never done before, it’s okay to try new things and trust God to help you learn.
It starts with a willing heart. Pray and ask God what He is leading you to do. Maybe God will grow you in ways to do ministry you never thought you would be involved with before.
Consider Joining a Long-Term Missionary
I would encourage you to get involved in your local church and see what type of ministries, or mission trips they offer. See if you could go alongside a long-term missionary that you could join. It doesn’t have to be a large group you go with, it could be only a few that join a ministry or missionaries already there.
By joining long-term missionaries, you will have an idea of what full-time missions are about.
It is also important to have some kind of relationship or connection with them. There is no need to rush into going on a trip or overseas. Consider funding a missionary your church knows first. Pray for them, help fund them, and let them know you are praying for them.
Be genuinely interested in all that they are doing. You can learn so much from older people or from those who have more experience than you.
Often times, when people rush into a trip, they want to do it to get away. Don’t feel like you have to escape your own home or community. Start within your home and community, and if the Lord leads you elsewhere, that is the time to go.
When you do join a long-term missionary or ministry, see what you can do to help. Don’t make it all about you. Learn from them by helping out by doing mundane tasks, don’t expect to be in all the action. Do the work that no one wants to do, or that might not be the most exciting.
Bible Schools & Mission-Focused Universities
- Bethany Global University is a work college located outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota. They offer accredited degrees in Bible & Theology, Entrepunrership, Education, and Intercultural Ministries. During your junior year of college, all students go on a 16-month internship overseas finishing their education and learning from long-term missionaries already there. They offer opportunities for continual missions after graduation by connecting you with other missionaries, mission sending organizations, and ministries. Just by the 16-month internship alone, one can make connections with the missionaries and people already there.
- Columbia International University is another accredited university located in South Carolina. It is a Christian University with 33 majors to choose from. They have short-term mission trips available as well as study abroad programs for a semester-long.
- Moody Bible Institute is located in Chicago, Illinois. Students will have the opportunity to complete a semester at one of their international partner schools. Students will live on their international campus and take classes from professors who have practical and academic experience. Students who study abroad at Moody have the opportunity to get connected to the local church and see the global church as it functions in different contexts.
If you want to learn about other missionary training colleges click here.
If one does not feel like they have a solid foundation in the Bible, I believe one should consider getting training or going to Bible college first before going onto the mission field long term.
School not only help you learn how to be responsible, help you figure out how to manage your time, but by going to a missionary school, it can help give you clarity on what God’s mission for us really is.
For me going to a missionary school is helping me give my full attention to studying Scripture and helping me prepare for a life of service to God.
If one is looking to jump into missions right away, do more research, and pray for the Lord to direct your step. When you desire God with all your heart, he will fulfill your greatest desires, and he wants to use your gifts for him to love others well.
Remember to trust in the Lord with all your heart, not lean on your own understanding, and acknowledge him first always.