Many hurdles will prove to be challenges on the field. Among them:

Spiritual warfare. Satan is never pleased with missionaries entering his captured places. He will oppose your work at every turn; sometimes subtly and sometimes overtly. He will be glad for you to assume that spiritual warfare is not behind difficulty on the field. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6.12, ESV)

Prayerlessness. Busy-ness will easily overtake you on the field and you will be tempted to discard one of your greatest weapons for your work. Don’t neglect it!

Team conflict. This remains one of the top reasons that missionaries leave the field. Set up team processes that encourage working out conflict quickly and early, rather than allowing conflict to escalate over time.

Lack of preparation. You may get to the field and find that you didn’t take enough time to learn the language, get a critical degree, or gain some key experience. While we can certainly overprepare, we can also be so hurried to get to the field that we leave behind some important preparation. Don’t cut corners on foundational training.

Pragmatism. Missiology never lacks “silver bullet” theories for reaching the unreached. Unfortunately, many are ready to analyze methodologies behind fast church planting and reduce them to a formula. Rarely do such analysts reckon with the decades of fruitless foundational evangelism often preceding the spurt. Particularly among the hardest to reach, pragmatic methods rise and fall. Some offer wisdom, but the basic essentials such as fervent prayer and widespread sowing can never be ignored.