At Mission Discovery, we are all about sharing the love of Christ globally — our organization is actually based on volunteers doing just that! But we also know that missions can take place right in our own backyards, within our communities, and across the United States. We fully believe that going on a week-long mission trip once — or even multiple times — a year will encourage you and help you to grow spiritually, but we also want to address the other 51 weeks of the year. If you’re not planning on becoming a full-time international missionary anytime soon, here are 7 ways you can start to be a missionary in your very own community:

1. Partner with a local church:

Many churches already have outreach programs that they are instilling in local communities. These programs serve as excellent starting points for your mission endeavors. In pursuing this option, you will have the benefit of already having a group of brothers and sisters to support you in your ministry, a really important aspect of ministry that often gets overlooked.

2. Non-profit Organizations:

Numerous non-profits are dedicated to causes such as homelessness, education, and poverty alleviation. They’re always on the lookout for volunteers who share their vision. This is also a great way to get to know people in your community who are interested in serving others but who may not have gotten to know Christ yet. What better time is there to share the message of Christ with someone than when you are working side by side as servants?

3. Minister to Family and Friends:

Odds are, you already have someone in your life who isn’t a follower of Christ. Whether it’s a family member, coworker, or friend, you may be one of the few Christians they ever so closely interact with. Maybe you have someone you are close to who is a Christian, but they are really struggling right now. Start being more intentional about ministering to them and encouraging them.

4. Join a Community Social Club:

As people, we crave community. Most Christians are blessed to be able to meet their social needs through their church alone. However, it can also be beneficial to occasionally get involved in a community club that is not related to the church in order to connect with individuals who may not know Christ. Do you like reading? Join a book club! Do you love to fish? Start entering fishing tournaments! There are endless possibilities for ways to connect with individuals who are interested in the same hobbies as you are. Hopefully, by forming a friendship with you, they will start to notice your Christian walk and want to be a part of that too!

5. Be Creative With Your Time:

In our culture, life can get so busy that we may feel like we don’t have the time to pour into other people and be missionaries in our communities. If that’s the case for you, we totally get it. But, we want to challenge you to look at your day and see where you can invite others into your life. This can look different for everyone. Have a HUGE stack of laundry that you’ve been meaning to fold for a week? Invite your neighbor over to chat and fold laundry together. Fill them in on what you’ve been studying in your Bible class or talk with them about their struggles. Have an hour lunch break that you usually spend scrolling on your phone? Try reaching out to someone younger at your church and inviting them to meet with you once a month to form a mentor-like relationship. Edifying the church and pouring into youth is an extremely important part of mission work.

6. Choose Consistency Over Quantity:

It may be tempting to read this list and start trying to implement all of these tactics into your life. But the truth is, no one can do that and not get burnt out. So, we want to encourage you to pick just one or two ways to minister to your local community. Whichever way you choose, choose to do it consistently and to do it well. That way, you won’t be stretched too thin or discouraged by your inability to do it all.

7. Pray, Pray, Pray:

No missionary is successful on their own. We cannot stress how important it is to lean on the Lord in the works you are doing for Him. Remember to consult Him when choosing a path for mission work and remember to consult Him throughout the work. Don’t get so caught up in serving Him that you forget to talk with Him.

You Can Do It!

Missionary work is not confined to distant lands; opportunities are abundant within the United States, right in our homes and communities. By identifying these openings and consistently acting upon them, each one of us has the potential to be a missionary right where we are.