So it’s back to school, new clothes, new pencils, and new gadgets. Anyone thinking about being a btsm (back-to-school-missionary)? Well maybe one guy is. A 15 year old student emailed last week asking me how to prepare to be a missionary while in high school. I dug around a little, it turns out there are more students out there darn serious about making a difference on their campuses.
Here’s what I wish someone would have told me in high school. Warning: this post contains no lol, omg, l8r, bff, cya or even asap. Do you think any high schooler will read it? zzz
- Don’t wait – If you want to be a missionary after high school, try acting like one IN high school. There is no magic pill that makes you courageous after grad. Courage comes from pretending the lunch room or your sports team is your God-given mission field.
- Read Do Hard Things by Brett and Alex Harris – I read this book a couple of years ago. It kicked my butt then, and it still influences me today. Courage will come from reading the stories of teens that put down the PS3 controller for an hour or two to do hard things for Jesus. Check out their website: The Rebelution
- Grow in character– my brother Thom has been a youth pastor for years, he says most Christian youth need work in these areas:
- Purity – radical purity.
- Respect of authority
- Radical commitment to Church: that is essentially learning that Christ adopted us into a family, and together we do more than we can alone.
- Radical commitment to Orthodoxy: that is work to answer the question “is anything true these days?” Find meaning and grounding from the past traditions, doctrines or beliefs.
- Read a little more – read a missionary blog or a missionary biography…the Christian Hero series by YWAM publishing is a great place to start.
- Develop compassion – befriend someone who has no friends. Serve with a local mission organization or participate in service projects in your city learn about the justice issues they address. Spend time with people who love the needy – sometimes this could mean volunteering to stuff envelopes or sort clothing together with them.
- Serve in your church – strange as it sounds teaching a Sunday School class of 5 yrs olds to love the nations will do more for your own development perhaps than theirs. Join a mission committee or play guitar on a worship team…all the while demonstrating your love for the local church. Say to yourself “someday this church I love will send me to another country as a missionary, I need them.”
- Support a missionary – could ya find $5/month to send to a missionary family for their support? Do it through your church, family, youth group or school. It will shape your heart and connect you to God’s mission more than you imagine.
- Pray for a missionary – pray on your own while waiting for the bus, or gather some friends at school for group prayer at lunch hour. If you like use this Daily Pray Guide
- Practice sensitivity to Jesus –ask yourself every day “what are you doing around me Lord?” “How am I to respond to what you are doing?” Write down your answers in a journal. Writing forces us to decipher our own thoughts/prayers from the Holy Spirit’s voice.
- Get ready to be mocked – yeah it’s true, depending on where you live this will be more or less your reality. Today, young people are persecuted in high school for their faith in Jesus, especially when they are seen loving the least popular. However, their love for the least popular is Jesus’ way of developing their passion for entire least reached NATIONS. Jesus remains worthy of all the mockery which follows such crazy ambition.
Allow me to salute you, as you wrestle to become a back-to-school-missionary. Honestly, what I wrote here is no different from how I keep my own passion for mission alive. Let’s go for it!
How do you see this next generation equipped to be back-to-school-missionaries?