Bible Study: How to Prepare Your Heart for a Missions Trip and Evangelism
Written by Christi Given | May 9, 2015
Are you thinking about going on a missions trip? There are different aspects of preparing for such a trip.
First and foremost, adhere to the call of God on your life regarding responding to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) and also partner with a church so you can go in a group, if desired.
Of course, the mission field can be anywhere, but for international missions, or places where there is a lack of the Gospel being shared, it can sometimes take some preparing before going on your trip. You also will want to make sure to schedule your flights, get your passport ready and pack the right materials you will need for evangelizing (Bibles, tracks, ministry tools, etc.). If you go with a church, they will likely be very organized and prepared, hopefully having team leaders and pastors with experience who are somewhat guiding the missions trip with an agenda, to-do list and game plan. You want to be effective in the time frame you are going to be there, as it is most likely going to be a week-long to month-long trip, depending on who you are going with.
One thing I would suggest regarding going on a missions trip that is pretty key in serving is to prepare your heart. What does this mean? Are there practical ways to do this?
The answer is yes. Pastor, Bible teacher and evangelist Greg Laurie from Harvest Ministries shares on his website in a devotional that first, it is important to prepare your mind to share the “Gospel,” aka the good news of Jesus Christ. We need to be ready in the Word of God (in and out of season), so that we will be equipped to share God’s Holy Word with a lost world searching for truth. The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:
How can you share the scriptures if you don’t really know them or aren’t prepared for how you would share this message with strangers? Prepare beforehand in your room or with a friend what you would say to someone if you had the opportunity to give out the Gospel.
Also, understand what the Great Commission is, and realize it is a partnership with God. You are not solely responsible for people accepting Christ, but rather just the messenger. Think of the word “commission” as two words: “co-” “mission.” YOU, my friend, are on a mission for the sake of the good news and the Gospel that death has no power and that God is alive! Jesus paid it all on the cross! This is a message for everyone, and anyone can share this message.
The Gospels are found in the Bible mainly in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (which are four accounts, or four eyewitnesses, of what Jesus did here on earth). Think of the Gospel of Mark, the Gospel of Luke, the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of John as almost like four news reports. Pretty awesome, huh? We get to be journalists for God in a way, but sharing His GOOD news! Don’t you just love a good report? 🙂
You may be asking, “Well, how do I start just talking about God to someone? I’m a little shy or intimidated about what to say….” Or you might be thinking, “What if people think I’m weird, or a Jesus freak or something?” First off, don’t be embarrassed or worried about what people think. Think about their eternity and the importance and urgency of sharing this.
Imagine if a house was on fire and you knew that a person was inside. Wouldn’t you tell them that there is a way out? That Jesus is the escape or the firefighter to snatch them out? Yes, you would tell them and you wouldn’t be worried about their opinion. We don’t know the day, time or hour of anyone’s passing, so we need to deal with the Bible and the Gospel seriously.
That is a part of preparing your heart, realizing how blessed we are to know the truth, and that people perish for the lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). We have this knowledge and truth, and as believers, (especially mature believers and followers of Jesus), it is important to share this. We all can share God’s love in different ways. You may not be called to the mission field, but maybe you can sponsor someone or help in different ways. We can all play a part as the body of Christ. We all need each other, amen? You can do all things through Christ, amen? (Philippians 4:13)
Don’t worry, God will give you the words. And here are some ways to get the conversation going.
Start sharing the Gospel by saying:
“Excuse me, have you ever heard of the Gospel? Do you know God loves you so much that He sent His son Jesus to die for your sins so that you could live?” (Read and/or refer to John chapter 3.) Explain how we all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23) and that we all needed God to step in Himself to reconcile us back into a right relationship with Him. Jesus died on the cross at Calvary and bore the sins of the world, and just as He spoke prior He rose again on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:20-22), defeating sin and death, and proving He was Immanuel (“God with us”) (Matthew 1:23). He ascended back to heaven (John 3:23) and left us with the Holy Spirit (John 14:26), which is a free gift we receive (Ephesians 2:8) when we accept the good news of salvation by faith and in God’s grace, and we become born again and new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. (1 Peter 1:18-19)
When we just simply believe (not practice religion, but solely in the finished work of the cross), we are saved if we confess with our mouths and believe in our hearts that Jesus Christ is Lord (Romans 10:9). Jesus was the sacrificial lamb who paid our debt once and for all. He is our mediator and Great High Priest, who intercedes for us and cleanses us of our sins with the price of shedding His blood on the cross 2,000 years ago.
John chapter 1 in the Bible says that Jesus is the Word of God in flesh who dwelt among men. Ask the person to whom you are witnessing to say the sinner’s prayer and to confess Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives, and that they ask for God’s help to walk with Him and to glorify the Father in the name of Jesus. Ask the person if they can believe this, and pray with them. Share the Bible with them and express God’s love to them! When they receive the free gift of salvation, they are made new! Hallelujah! How exciting!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)
How cool is it that GOD allows us to be a part of His mighty plan? How are we able to be His mouthpieces and vessels? God is BEYOND amazing!
Next, after reviewing how you will share the good news (remember the Holy Spirit is with you, and God can also help give you the words), ask God to give you a love and compassion for others who are lost.
In an article on Crosswalk.com, there is a devotional from Greg Laurie’s ministry that says finally, we should ask God to give us boldness on the mission field (whether internationally or just locally in our backyard, amen?).
Practical Ways to Prepare Your Heart Before Sharing the Gospel
1. Read God’s Word, pray and ask God to give you His words by the power of the Holy Spirit.
2. Ask God for compassion for the lost, hurting and broken. (Helping feed and clothe the poor and needy are a part of evangelism, too.)
3. Ask God for boldness, to realize all people are in need of a Savior through Jesus.
PI Girls, have you ever been or do you desire to go on a missions trip outside of your state or even the country?