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Have I Been Called?

Written by J M. Bell

Simple answer: Yes, we are all called to make followers of Jesus among every people group.
Less simple answer: Its 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
Firstly, you shouldnt be reading this if you havent already started talking to your own church leadership (but youve 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 Gods calling. They will recognise Gods
call on your life (Acts 13:1-3) and support you in your adventures.
Secondly, if God says something to you, dont keep asking for advice, confirmation and signs indefinitely. 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 Gods 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 Gods heart for the world in Scripture
2. Learn from others experience; get praying for cross-cultural
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
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 youre 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
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
1. Gods 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 The Mission of Gods People: A Biblical Theology of the Churchs Mission by Chris Wright. Possibly take a Kairos course (www.kairoscourse.info), and look at Gods 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 Gods 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 recommend ensuring your basic theology is solid. Try Bruce Milnes book: Know the Truth.

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.frontiers.org.uk). Contact agencies to receive 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/getinspired/ 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
Chapmans 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 recognises Gods call on your life and will send you out and support you in prayer.

5. Get actively involved in church life

For individuals serious about discerning their appointment from God to establish churches among Muslims, the single most important factor is previous active participation in the life of the church; to understand 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.

Have you been called?

Lets keep talking! Our aim is to help you discern Gods 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!

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.

Digital resources (click to visit):

Get Inspired Resources: frontiers.org.uk/getinspired/

Other Info and resources oscar.org.uk, christianvocations.org
Highlighting unreached people groups joshuaproject.net, peoplegroups.org
Whats going on in world outreach missionfrontiers.org, brigada.org
Prayer: 24-7prayer.com, 30-days.net, operationworld.org

web: www.frontiers.org.uk | tel: 0303 333 5051 | email: info@frontiers.org.uk

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