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What makes a fruitful missionary? Six key abilities

What qualities do you need for missionary service? Here are six key abilities of a fruitful missionary:

1 Availability
You are experiencing the love of Jesus in your life and are willing to consider going anywhere to share that love with others.

2 Teachability
You know you haven't fully arrived. There is much still to learn in every situation you encounter. So, it is important to assume the posture of a learner as you serve in another culture.

3 Dependability
Not yours, but God's! You are cultivating the practice of depending on God for personal growth and power in ministry. As we say at World Harvest, the model for growth in the Christian life is a growing dependence on Christ.

4 Flexibility
You should be able to handle lots of situations which don't appear to have set agendas. Cross-cultural ministry is filled with surprises, so it is important to be willing to "go with the flow."

5 Durability
Missionary life does not offer a lot of instant gratification. Living overseas may involve hardships. There are also periods of separation from family and friends. So, it is important that you be willing to persevere through tough times.

6 Suitability
As a missionary you do not magically develop a new set of abilities when you land overseas. Fruitful ministry at home is an important prerequisite for fruitful ministry abroad.

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When does God call people to long-term missionary service?

* 21% were called as a result of a missions education service in their local church
* 20% felt God calling them after listening to missionary speakers
* 19% were called because of their own family's missions vision and conversations
* 10% heard God's call through reading missionary books

-- Terry Read, missionary and missions professor