The answer to this question depends a lot on what you're starting line is.
It's a vastly different answer if you're starting line is as a high school student versus as a college graduate versus a married person with a spouse and a career and a bunch of worldly possessions and children.
Let's go ahead and state some obvious assumptions:<
- You're a believer with a clear testimony of salvation and solid ministry involvement in a healthy local church.
- You have already spoken to your church leadership about your interest in missions, in general, or becoming a missionary, and specific.
- You are willing to make changes in your life and/or direction in order to prepare well for ministry on a cross-cultural mission field for the long term.
- If you are single, you have informed your parents of this new direction and, if they are believers, they generally agree that it's OK.
- If you are married, you have discussed this with your believing spouse and he or she has agreed that they are in it with you.
If your church has affirmed your inclination or compulsion to pursue missions ministry, they will need to get up to speed on how to help you prepare. There are a lot of elements to think through, work through, and decisions to be made.