Thursday, February 14, 2008

Questions to Ask a Missionary

When missionaries return from their fields of service, or a short-termer returns from three to six months of ministry, or summer workers return after two or three weeks of summer ministry, sometimes the only questions that people ask are, "Was it hot in the country?" and "What was the food like?" and nothing else. The conversation then switches to the recent ball game, the high price of gas, or the latest movies. This can be discouraging to a missionary or a short-term
worker.

The following are a few suggestions of simple questions to ask missionaries to get them talking about the work so that you can learn more about what God is doing in other parts of the world:

1. What did you most enjoy about your work?
2. Tell me something about the people of your country.
3. What was the economic situation of the people you ministered to?
4. What most encouraged you in your work?
5. Were many people responsive to the gospel or just a few? Why?
6. Describe an experience you had on the mission field that impacted the way
you do ministry.
7. Tell me about your devotional Bible study time schedule on the field. Was it
difficult to maintain?
8. What did you appreciate most about the culture you were living in?
9. Tell me about a special friendship you had with a national. Who was your
best friend?
10. What was security in the country like?
11. How were church services different or alike in your country of service?
12. Tell me about your church and worship in your country.
13. Were there times that you could specifically focus on children's needs?
Tell something about them.
14. What are some specific prayer requests you have for your country and mission
of service?
15. Tell me about raising your children in a different culture. Advantages? Disadvantages?
16. Were you able to purchase the books, supplies, and materials you needed for
your ministry in that country? How?
17. What was the greatest spiritual need you noticed in your ministry? Physical need?
18. How did you adapt to being in a different culture?
19. What has been your most noticeable spiritual change since you began ministry
as a missionary?
20. What is/was a typical day like for you? your family?
21. Tell me about your local church.
22. Who provides your pastoral care?
23. Please tell me of someone whose life was impacted with the gospel and the
change you saw in his life.
24. Were you able to share the gospel and disciple people freely in your country
of service?
25. Tell me about the missionaries you serve/served with. What are their
ministries and how are they doing? Are they encouraged?
26. What are some ministry needs and opportunities that need filling on your
team?
27. How is your support? If your personal support is good do you have any
projects that need funding?
28. How can I help you while you are here?
29. What was your biggest surprise about the country? The people? Yourself?
30. What could the church/friends/others do to help encourage you?
31. What was really important to you in your time there that you want us to know?
32.  What did you learn from the indigenous Christians ....especially inthe area of faith, contentment, materialism?
33. What did God show you about being a servant?
34. How can I change my lifestyle to dedicate my life to the same values God has for the poor and disadvantages in the developing world?

These questions will not only encourage the missionary, but also help inform you of God's work worldwide for His glory. Please feel free to make copies of these questions to distribute to your family, friends and church.

They went out for the sake of His name . . . therefore, we ought to help such men, that we may be fellow-workers with the truth (3 John 7-8, NASB).

– Doug Nichols

3 comments:

Mark said...

Thank you! What a great list of questions.

m

Greenville, MI

Columban Lay Missionaries said...

thank you. I want to interview a missionary who was in Pakistan for several years and I just don't know what to ask until I read your guide.

Miriam Peterson said...

Thanks so much!