Every believer is called to fulfill the Great Commission, sharing the gospel and helping make disciples. But not everyone is called to do it for a living. Full-time missionary jobs take a special kind of person, not to mention a special kind of calling from God.
Thankfully, if you feel called to serve in a full-time missionary setting, you can find the resources you need to move in the right direction. Among the greatest tools at your disposal are job boards or job listings that help you know where the needs are greatest and where you can plug in.
But before digging too deeply into the where of full-time missionary jobs, you need to take a look at the who. Specifically, you need to examine what it will mean for you to become the best version of yourself as you step into this incredible adventure.
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"
As you do some self-evaluation and reflect on your potential as a career missionary, it’s helpful to examine things through two basic lenses: personal and practical. The personal side considers whether you have the make-up and character qualities necessary for success on the mission field. The practical matters help you sort through the struggles and questions you might face.
Personally, career missionaries tend to possess some basic character qualities that allow them to adapt and thrive on the field. For example, full-time missionary jobs require individuals who have a personal and growing faith in addition to their firm call from the Lord. After all, you can’t lead people where you have never been, and you don’t want to chase a call that God has not placed on your life—especially one like missions.
It's also helpful if missionaries are lifelong learners, always seeking to discover more about the people they reach and improving their skills. And since missionaries typically don’t work in a vacuum, being a team player is a must. Of course, some of these personal qualities can be developed and strengthened over time, but those pursuing full-time missionary jobs have to be willing to do the hard work to integrate these qualities and more into their lives and work.
Practically, the biggest challenge career missionaries face is sacrifice. Even though the sense of call may be strong, you can’t escape the fact that you will be giving things up to work on a foreign mission field. You’ll leave behind family and friends, as well as many conveniences. You will also face some struggles with language and culture. You may feel vulnerable at first because your communication could be limited. What’s more, your very presence could represent a stigma for locals who view you through a particular economic or even political lens.
You also may have questions about money and whether or not you can survive on a full-time missionary’s salary. In addition, many career missionaries have the challenge of identifying a suitable sending agency and a support network.
None of these challenges—either personal or practical—should discourage you from pursuing your call to missions. Instead, they should remind you of the incredible responsibility you have as you pursue a full-time missionary job. God has given you the privilege of taking His Word to the world. You must do all you can to prepare well.
Once you’ve gone through the self-evaluation process and you’re sure God has called you to missions, it’s time to see what’s available. Again, you’ll find plenty of resources that can help you find the right fit, whether it involves a part of the world or a particular skill (like medical missions or education).
Missionary job boards are a great place to start, and we’ve identified four that can get you moving in the right direction.
• Word of Life. The Word of Life organization has been ministering in the United States and across the globe for nearly 80 years. Through its international ministries arm, it now has more than 1,500 missionaries serving in 70 different countries. The career opportunities are diverse, including clubs, education, and camps.
• Medical Missions. The Medical Missions job board is associated with the Global Missions Health Conference, held each year in Louisville, Kentucky. The goal of the job board is to connect medical missionaries with the best opportunities for making a difference around the world. The board allows you to customize your search based on factors like income, specialization, and location.
• Christian Job Fair. While part of a larger network to help Christians identify places of service, the Christian Job Fair has a section designated for full time missionary jobs. The site connects individuals with a variety of missionary-sending organizations. It also has a feature that allows interested parties to post their resumes.
• Team. Tracing its roots to 1891, the organization that became Team was formed in response to calls for missionaries in Europe and Asia, including Hudson Taylor’s famous plea for 1,000 people to become missionaries in China. Over time, the movement has expanded around the world. Today, Team works with more than 500 missionaries and a network of some 2,000 churches. Its job board allows users to explore a wide selection of opportunities, including many related to medical and health care missions.
Even after working through your personal and practical concerns and researching missionary job boards, you still might have questions. One helpful tool could be the Ask a Missionary website. This site’s Q&A section includes dozens of questions that people like you are asking—along with honest, common-sense questions.
Honestly, you may never get all your questions answered before you land on your mission field. But that’s where faith comes in. The God who called you to career missions will also equip you and direct you. He never sets His people up to fail when they are obeying His plans and purposes.
We help connect your professional skills and biblical calling to the largest database of healthcare mission organizations, professionals, and thought leadership. Join us at the Global Missions Health Conference to find your Medical Missions calling. Or, browse our full list of partner organizations to find the right mission for you.