Call to Mission


Sometimes we hear someone say, “I think God is calling me to mission.” Or “If God calls me, I’ll go.”

What do we mean by a “call”?

To begin with, we must realize that there is a sense in which every Christian is “called.”

We are called to service, a service that grows out of our love and gratitude for what God has done for us. This love creates in us a desire to share that joy and good news with others.

So, there is a sense in which we can say that all Christians are called to be missionaries—not necessarily cross-cultural missionaries, but servants of the Master, nonetheless.

But God does call some to a special cross-cultural ministry.

We will look at two different ways in which He calls us.

Direct or Supernatural Call

Some people in history have received a special, miraculous call:

  • Samuel heard God’s voice calling him when he was just a boy.
  • Peter and John heard Jesus say, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”
  • Paul was stopped by a bright light on the Damascus road and heard Jesus calling him by name to be the apostle to the Gentiles.

Indirect or Circumstantial Call

Most people in the Bible, however, did not receive a supernatural call like those, but circumstances led them to God’s mission:

  • Esther happened to be in the right place to save God’s people from annihilation.
  • David was visiting his brothers when God helped him slay Goliath.
  • Barren Sarah followed her husband to an unknown land and became the mother of God’s people.
  • Daniel was captive in a foreign court where he was entrusted with prophecies for our day.
  • John Mark failed in his first missionary endeavor but went on to be the first to author a gospel account.

What is God Doing With Us Today

Most of us are also called by “God’s gentle leading.”

We see God at work in our lives, and through various providential leadings, we feel God calling us.

  • We realize that our gifts or talents especially fit us to serve in cross-cultural environments.
  • We receive information (via books, speakers, etc.) that appeals to our mind as well as our hearts and “calls” us to serve.
  • Past experiences (encounters with missions or missionaries, special times of commitment) call us to a personal commitment.
  • We see God leading our spouse to mission and feel Him calling us to support their service.
  • A desire to serve God and His church leads us to accept a call to mission.

All of the above factors can be powerful incentives to mission service.

First of all, God calls us to Him, and then in love we respond and go where He sends us.

He does not command results, but He does expect faithfulness.

The results are in His hands, but the willingness to respond to His call to mission is ours.

Your Turn

How has God led you to sense His call to mission?

We’ll be happy to hear from you in the comments below.

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13 thoughts on “Call to Mission”

  1. Anduerpio Paulo

    I greatly thank God that he has and is still instilling in me a great burden in the work of soul winning here in the secluded and locations of the city and town I always find myself here in Namibia. The lord called me to ministry though not yet an integral call, but has so far called faithful souls to join His fold through the untiring work and influence of the Holy Spirit in the small evangelistic endeavoring ministry He has called me to.

    1. Good to hear from you Anduerpio. You are right, this is where our service alongside with the Lord begins. It’s in participating in church projects and outreach. Blessings to you as you continue doing that.

  2. Joseph Namugera

    Well thanks for the article, it is really eye opening.
    I have felt the Master’s call in so many ways and the more I keep holding back, the more it intensifies.
    i feel a great desire to serve the Master in His vineyard, always overjoyed and I have a peace of mind when Serving God and the Church than when i am at work in my profession.
    I always find it easy to sacrifice time, and little resources I have in forwarding the work of evangelism in my local church and conference, than I do in spending it on my self as an individual.
    I feel i am Called beyond what I do, and currently I have been encouraged by others to join a theology seminary.

    1. Thank you for your comment Joseph. Happy to hear that you’re thinking of enrolling in a theological program. Pray that the Lord will further guide you step by step in the journey of service and ministry.

  3. I really love the article. Well explained as himself does call people for His vine yard. He has done in the past and He is in our time.
    The Greatest Gospel Commission which Jesus gave is for ordinary people like you and me to carry His cross and follow Him. Though not necessary on a cross-multicultural mission but we can work for Him where we are.
    God has led me to me to serve and work for His Ministry after I left church in 2002. He called me one Sabbath morning in 2016 while I was lying on my bed, “A small still voice said, Jenny why don’t you go to church and you can come and sleep instead of sleeping all day in bed and you get bored”. I was like sure I’ll give it a try. And to my surprise, when I decided I would go it was a bold decision I made through the conviction of the Holy Spirit and I am happy doing God’s work in my local church.

  4. i the Baptist church, I lost 3 friends an african named Kyle and 2 Vietnmaese girls . from that point on I knew I was called to missions and have been following that call witnessing to the Muslims.

  5. Very well explained article. Regarding the call of my wife and me, was a indirect call. We did not receive a supernatural call, but the experiencies and circumstances we have lived, led us to be able to serve in a muslim country, far away from our homes countries. As the article says, we should be always missionaries, wherever we are. Thanks!

    1. Millie Castillo

      We are glad you liked the article, Martin. We wish you the best in serving God in many different ways.

  6. The articled resonates with me. I just seem not to have peace especially when I engage in self-preservation or any selfish endeavor and God has gradually led me this far regarding His call to mission – otherwise it was becoming hard to kick against the pricks’ without being self-destructive. Call to mission involves total surrender without any efforts to ‘help’ God and seems to involve a lot of sacrifice the same way God called Abraham out without revealing everything – this so He can allow Abraham’s faith to grow. Appreciate all the comments.

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