Dear Dr. Bill, I’m only 12 years old but I believe God wants me to go on a mission trip. But I don’t know where. I’ve had some dreams about God telling me to go to foreign places, but what’s the next step? I’ve never been on a mission trip before and I really don’t know how to talk to my parents about it. I really want to do what God wants, so can you help me?
First of all, let me commend you for your willingness to serve God. In a day when many young people are focused on being popular or getting more “stuff”, it’s encouraging to hear from a student who is serious about her Christian faith.
Of course, with any big decision, it’s important to talk to your parents. Before you have that discussion, I’d encourage you to do a little homework about mission’s work.
Start by learning about opportunities there are to serve within your own church or denomination. If your church has a missions’ coordinator, ask him or her how kids your age can get involved. You might also visit the websites of groups like World Vision or Compassion International.
Some mission’s organizations allow kids your age to go on mission trips, but often one of your parents will need to accompany you.
By the way, it’s important to remember that there are opportunities to be a missionary right in your own back yard. The North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention has some great suggestions on how to get started. Just go to namb.net and click on “Student Opportunities.”
Thanks for writing Ashley.
If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click on the “Questions” link on the Culture Connection page.