If so, recognize that you may not be able to use your skills and talents as you had originally hoped.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many missionaries who use professional skills (accounting, media development, linguistics, webdesign, and so on) as a key part of their ministry.
However, I can about guarantee they didn’t get there like this:
Submit an application to missions agency that lists skills and abilities: cello player, great IT skills, loves outdoor adventure.
Missions agency says: “Great, we have a computer center that provides training, so your IT skills are a good fit, and you can be on a worship team with cello, and you can lead outdoor adventures with at-risk youth.”
You see, it’s never that easy.
The Elusive Sweet Spot.
Most of us (Americans) have grown up being told we are special and have wonderful gifts and skills. Youth is an asset, and it helps us to change things and look at things in new and helpful ways that older people just can’t.
So it’s easy to think that we will find the perfect spot in missions for us. It fits how special and unique we are, and we have the skills to do it.
Some call it the sweet spot. It’s where everything is just clicking right along perfectly.
Yes, you do indeed have gifts, skills and unique and helpful perspectives, but let me prepare you for the reality of being a missionary.
Of missionaries I’ve met, very few (if any) feel like they are in their “sweet spot” during their first years of ministry. Very few felt like ministry matched up to their expectations. “I had no idea it would be like this,” I often hear.
Usually after some time, a missionary will say they are in their sweet spot. But it takes time. It takes time for God to mold us as a missionary, and it takes time to adjust work and expectations to get into that sweet spot.
The reality is that we may never be in our sweet spot until we reach heaven. We may not know why, but God may call us to do things that feel like they are not natural fits for us. That could conceivably go on for years, if not the rest of our lives.
What matters is whether or not we are being obedient to God’s call, not whether we find fulfillment in our sweet spot.
Ministry Is Not what You Expected.
It shouldn’t surprise us if ministry turns out radically different than what we expected. Remember Moses pouring out his heart to God: “You haven’t saved your people at all!” The Bible is full of people not working in their sweet spot. God steps in and does amazing things.
If you find your perfect cello playing IT position with a missions agency, God bless you. If that doesn’t come up right away, start doing what is necessary to fulfill God’s call on your life, even if it doesn’t fit your gifts, talents, or expectations.