What questions should you ask a lady who aspires to be a missionary, whether single or married?

Here's my list, off the cuff, from experience.

This is the beginning of a much longer process of evaluation and pre-field preparation, but it's a good start.

  1. What is your testimony of salvation? We're looking for a good biblical understanding of the Gospel

  2. What were your earliest interests in missions?

  3. Do you feel a personal compulsion to become a missionary; why?; how?; what did God use?

  4. How would you rate your effectiveness and consistency in personal spiritual disciples?, do you know that you may have to be effectively self-reliant for feeding your soul in your personal walk with the Lord in order to survive spiritually on the field?

  5. Do you have a personal burden for a specific field/people group/region/type of ministry?

  6. Have you had any significant experience in cross-cultural ministry?

  7. What is your experience with exposure or studies in other languages?

  8. If married, would you feel an urge to go to the field even if you were single?

  9. How would you describe your personal, individual "missionary call”?

  10. What role do you see the local home/sending church play in your missionary pursuits?

  11. If married, and if you feel it is your obligation to “go where the husband goes,” are you willing to totally put aside your own preferences and desires for your household, children, and environment to serve alongside your husband as a helpmate, partner, and teammate in the ministry?  i.e. - are you willing to be selfless and sacrificial in order to survive and thrive on the mission field, despite the radical differences to a “normal” American life?

  12. Are you willing to cope with long-term and long-distance separation from family & friends?

  13. Do you have a heart for and have legitimate ministry experience in working with children and women in the local church setting? in the community? in cross-cultural opportunities here at home?

  14. If single, are you willing to endure with humility and no complaints when (not if) your field housing situation dictates that you share living space with others (singles or family or nationals) which you have no control over?

  15. If single, how will you guard yourself morally against temptations and even approaches of men around you, both ex-pats and nationals, who would make advances in a romantic relationship?

  16. if single, will you commit to abide by standards of conduct with respect to the opposite sex which actually or virtually prohibit putting yourself in a vulnerable position morally or with goals to establish a romantic relationship with someone on the field?

  17. After gaining language proficiency and cultural understanding, what would be your longer-term goals for yourself for ministry on the field?  5 years? 10 years? 15 years? 20 years?

  18. Do you have any financial encumbrances?

  19. How does your family feel about your desire to serve the Lord overseas?

  20. Are you willing to commit the time, effort, and relationship-building to prepare well with and under your local church to effectively prepare for long-term service?

Bang! It's a good start.

Here's a thorough "20 Questions" screening questionnaire for a bit later down the road.

David C. Meade

David is the founder and Director of Propempo International. He has over 40 years of experience in church planting, pioneering field ministry among UPGs, and leadership both on the field and in nonprofit organizations. He is local church oriented, serving as a Missions Elder for over 20 years. He loves teaching and mentoring church leaders and missionaries preparing for service in the tough places of the world. David loves being a husband, dad and grandfather, fishing, traveling, and being omnivorous. He continues to be an avid proponent of and participant in church planting.

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