Don’t go on missions overseas unless you have this: missions DNA.
In a missions-minded churches, (in my experience), I have found the temptation of enamoring or romanticizing the idea of going overseas for missions at the cost of what really matters which is the lifestyle.
Unless we have the lifestyle here and now of evangelizing, discipling, leadership development, and church planting, we will not reproduce that suddenly because we are in a different location. What we do here we will, eventually, do there.
Moving to a different location doesn’t magically give us the heart, mind, and skills to do the work of missions. Without the passion and the practice of it here, what do we imagine we will do over there?
If we don’t see with harvest eyes here, what makes us think we will see with harvest eyes there? If we don’t know how to share Jesus proudly, boldly, clearly, and humbly here, what makes us think we’ll do it over there? If we have no experience of discipling new believers here, what makes us think we’ll be good over there?
To be successful overseas, it’s always a matter of mitigating the transition period and, not to mention, transitioning well. There are so many stress factors associated with moving to a different cultural context that the core things that make a man or woman will come out eventually, for good or for worse.
And if the core habits of a missional person are not established here and now, on top of all the difficult transitional factors necessitated with location migration, it will be really difficult to develop over there.
We must develop our habits here and now. Learn to love the lost, learn to abandon our lives, learn to hear and obey from God, love evangelism, be excellent at discipleship, and gain vision for reproducible church. Such a person will flourish wherever they’re planted.
And that’s what I think is important before we think about doing missions overseas!