When planning a journey of any type, we have to prepare for it. We make lists of things to do, things to carry with us, things to do while we are there. We take care of those things that need attention before we leave and we have someone available to take care of those unforeseen happenings that occur while we are away.
Preparing for a mission trip is no different - except for one major thing: Spiritual Preparation!
When serving on or leading a mission team, we must prepare our heart, our soul, and our mind for the work God has led us to do. Within our own strength, we are limited as to what we can do. Projects may seem impossible and for many, they are, but if we place our faith and trust in God, He can accomplish all those things we find impossible.
Philippians 4:13 ' I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.' (NKJV)
Here are some ways to help you prepare Spiritually for mission work in Appalachia or other mission fields.
We should never embark on God's work without first praying for His guidance. Through prayer, we will find God's will for us and what He wants us to accomplish on this mission. Through prayer, He equips us with necessary skills, attitude, demeanor, and willingness to be out of our comfort zone and yet show the love of Jesus to those we are helping. Daily fellowship with the Father is essential and prayer is the way we do that.
Jesus is our example for prayer. He sought out that quiet place where He could talk with His Father in Heaven. We should do the same. The apostle Paul tells us we should pray without ceasing in 1 Thess. 5:17.
Read the Bible
As we go on mission, we go into spiritual warfare. Satan does not want us to be successful in sharing the good news of Jesus with those who are lost to a life of sin. Our armor is the Word of God. Jesus used God's word to defeat Satan during those 40 days of temptation and so must we.
In order for us to be prepared for spiritual battle, we must put on the full armor of God. We do that daily by reading and studying His Word and talking about it (sharing it) at all times.
Deuteronomy 6: 8-9 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." (NKJV)
Paul has a word to say about it too:
2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (NKJV)
Many of us consider ourselves to be mission minded. We give to missions which is great but all to often, that is as far as we go.
To be MISSIONAL we not only Give to missions but we also Pray for missions and we Go on mission.
Matthew 28:19-20 is the Great Commission - "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Acts 1:8 are Jesus' last words before departing earth for Heaven. As His parting words, we have to realize that He was placing much emphasis on them and His expectation for us to be obedient to them. "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
The Appalachian Regional Ministry prays that everyone who considers coming to Appalachia will be spiritually prepared for the work God has led them to do.
See this must-read information about the culture and customs of Appalachia, how to prepare your self spiritually and how you can make your mission trip successful.
Discovering the Kingdom of God devotions