In 2005 God called me into full time missions when I was in Panama, on my first missions trip. I'm a senior in high school and was wondering your opinion on going straight into the mission field after high school, or going to college?
Courtney, I would definitely encourage you to go to college before becoming a missionary. Some reasons:
" Four years of college will enable you to grow in maturity as a person.
" These years of study will open your mind and eyes to the world and the ideas that are shaping peoples’ lives.
" You will learn more about yourself – your gifts, interests, and areas in which you can make a contribution in the lives of others.
" I trust you would get involved in a Christian group, such as InterVarsity, where you will learn how to share the Gospel, grow in Christ, defend the Christian faith, and learn to have fellowship with new friends from different backgrounds.
" When you apply for a visa to serve in a different country, most countries will want to know what you can do to help their people. They will expect you to have at least a college degree or a skill that you have developed.
" If you are only going to attend a college (and not seminary), perhaps you should consider a Bible college where you will learn about the Bible, theology, history of the church, and missions.
You will probably discover, Courtney, that after your first term as a missionary you will want to get more study! It is not easy to be a missionary, to cross into another culture, and help the people there. The more you know, the more valuable you will be, as you depend on the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit.
I would also strongly encourage you to attend the Urbana Student Mission Convention which will take place between Christmas and New Year’s this year.