ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Become a Missionary

Updated on January 13, 2017
Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

Marcy writes about American life, holidays, politics and other topics. She has written hundreds of articles for online & print publications.

Missionaries provide service to others

Humanitarian and church missions extend helping hands across the water and span boundaries.
Humanitarian and church missions extend helping hands across the water and span boundaries. | Source

Serving a mission in a foreign country

Have you ever thought about volunteering your time to serve a mission in another country?

There are many opportunities to serve people in disadvantaged countries, either through humanitarian service, medical service or spiritual outreach.

While many 'missions' are affiliated with churches, not all are church-related opportunities.

It's true, though, that many church groups of all faiths will organize and send volunteers to other countries for various periods of time.

Here are some ways you can volunteer for this type of service:

What do missionaries do?

This thatched roof is typical of the type that is often replaced during a mission in an overseas country.
This thatched roof is typical of the type that is often replaced during a mission in an overseas country. | Source

Humanitarian missions in foreign countries

One of the most needed and popular ways to serve a mission is to volunteer for a Humanitarian Mission in another country.

These missions are organized to send groups (ranging from a dozen or so people to perhaps 30 or more) to help improve the infrastructure and housing in third-world countries.

Often, the missions last only one week (a small amount of time, but a lot can be accomplished with many willing hands!). This makes the time commitment doable for those who work and have only a week or two of vacation available.

While there, your group will probably donate time in such things as helping a community capture and purify water (to protect them from disease), pouring cement floors in huts that have dirt flooring, venting fireplaces to rid the dwellings of smoke, and installing metal roofing to help avoid diseases caused by parasites and insects that often set up camp in thatched roofing.

If you speak the language of the area, you might also help in their local school, or help with medical screenings.

Angel Relief Missions in Africa

How to find short-term missionary opportunities

Many churches have missionaries stationed in foreign countries across the globe, but they are often assigned there long-term and spend their careers in this service.

However, some opportunities are available for shorter periods of time, for humanitarian, medical and also religion-based missions. Many churches that send volunteers to help with infrastructure needs also offer worship services or Bible studies to the villages they serve.

There are a number of church-related mission programs through such operations as Baptist Medical & Dental Mission International and organizations serving specific countries, such as mission needs in Honduras or other areas.

If you're interested in doing mission work in another country and would like to do it in a church atmosphere, check with your local church leaders to see what opportunities are there. You can also sometimes volunteer for week-long missions through a church in which you have friends or relatives.

Video on how medical missions are organized

Medical missions in Third-World Countries

Many of us have seen heart-wrenching stories of doctors, nurses, dentists and other medical professionals donating their time to help those in other countries.

There is always a great demand for skilled health workers to travel to other countries to perform surgeries, screen for common disorders, give immunizations, offer dental care and to provide all the other medical services we take for granted.

In many cases, the area in which medical missionaries serve sets aside that entire week to refer persons of all age groups for care, since it might be the only time in their lives (certainly the only time that year) that they can get vision care, dentistry, help for chronic diseases and other assistance.

Although the majority of the mission team will be medically qualified, there is also a need for translators to help communicate to the local residents. You do not need to have a medical background for that role (although some basic knowledge is helpful), you simply need a good enough grasp of the language to communicate between the doctor, dentist or nurse and the patient.

Persons who serve in Medical Missions literally transform the lives of those they touch. Often, they screen and discover health issues that can result in blindness, shortened lives or other poor outcomes.

You'll work long and hard hours, but you will feel a sense of accomplishment and you'll go home knowing you made a difference in someone's life.

What Do You Think About Missionary Service?

Would you like to serve a mission in another country?

See results

Personal missionary experience

Several years ago, I did a weeklong humanitarian mission in Honduras through a church in my area. The church organized volunteers for a period of years to travel to a small village in Honduras and pour concrete floors, install tin roofing and help in their school.

Naturally, it would have been nearly impossible for a church based in the United States to independently locate and coordinate with a place to serve. So the church went through one of the organizations serving in Honduras, which had a great program in place to help church groups provide service.

The organization provided dorm space on a ranch (which they developed) in a remote area of Honduras that did not even have paved roads. They provided safe food for us, bunk beds (a dorm for women, and a dorm for men) and transportation to one of the dozens of villages in their mountainous area that needed help.

Each day, we rode in the open bed of a Korean War vintage Army truck, literally bouncing over the rocks, across the mountain, to the tiny village we served. The people were wonderful - so happy for the help, excited to have us as 'visitors,' and very loving.

It was back-breaking and exhausting work, but well-worth the time and money. As with most volunteer missions, you pay your own way in many cases. So I had to pay for airfare and the food, lodging and local transportation. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

It was a wonderful and fulfilling experience. Anyone who has ever thought of helping others through a mission should investigate opportunities. You will not regret giving of your time in that type of service.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)