As a missionary, being able to clarify your vision is a challenging endeavor. It requires work. It requires focus. But above all, it requires a clear vision from God. Paul the Apostle gave a sweeping example of his vision statement, and every missionary should take note of it –
“For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written, a “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.” – Romans 15:18-21
What was Paul’s vision? Did he have to wake up each day and reinvent or develop his calling? No! “I will not venture,” “I make it my ambition,” these are purpose statements that directly reflect what he devotes his time towards accomplishing. As a missionary, you first need to be able to articulate your vision in one or two simple statements as that is the launching point for all your communication. Of course, in this article, our discussion is on the topic of communication, but the task of understanding and articulating your vision statement is also what will keep you focused as a missionary when you are confronted with a plethora of great opportunities. What direction do you go? What do you get involved in? What do you spend valuable time doing? Understanding what you are called to will help you navigate the complicated decisions. It will help you keep the main thing the main thing.
The next step is to effectively communicate that vision statement through every medium of communication possible (social media, presentations, blog posts, etc.) and to deliver it within every communicate. This vision statement is the reason you are submitting to answer the “why” question. As a donor, “why” should I support you? If you respond with unclear communication of random abstractions, you will never convince anyone to support your calling. Also, this is your calling! God has spoken this vision to you, shouldn’t you be radically passionate about screaming that from every rooftop? Communication is not about raising support it is about your passion for what God has commissioned you to do. It is about you being excited about the vision God has given you. If you are not moved, then no one else will be either.
Train4Missions.com is one ministry Pastor Mike Thiemann runs to help equip and train missionaries for long-term overseas service. Pastor Mike and his wife Erin serve State-side as full-time missionaries through Saving Grace World Missions and raise their own missionary support. If you would like to partner with Pastor Mike and Erin to help them further the ministry of Missions Training, please click the “ways to give” image below.