5 Signs You are Called to be a Missionary  

Mick Veach

June 17, 2024

For a world that sees truth as a plurality falling somewhere on a spectrum, Matthew chapter 28 is pretty radical. By today’s sensibilities, the Great Commission would be considered the Great Suggestion. Calling it that would certainly make it more palatable for those who see truth as residing on a spectrum. And by today’s sensibilities, it leaves one stunned at the singular purpose it conveys. That singular purpose is this: If you are a follower of Christ, you are called to be a missionary—whatever that means in your life, the Great Commission is not a suggestion. All are called. 

The first sign you may be called to be a missionary? 

1. You consider yourself to be a follower of Christ.  

Yup, Jesus went there. While speaking to His disciples, He gave a singular command in the form of a verb: “Go.” Not go if you feel like it, or go when it is convenient, or go when they invite you. Simply “Go.” Jesus clearly communicated to His closest followers that His expectation of them is to not to go back to doing what they do best, fishing, tax collecting, doctoring. Jesus transferred the mantle to their shoulders and made it clear that they were to go, make disciples and baptize them. 

The second sign you may be called to be a missionary:

2. You feel a strong pull to live for something bigger than yourself.

You may not know why, and you may not know where the feelings are coming from, but you know down in the deepest part of you that you have to live for something greater than yourself. You recognize that it was not the leftover pizza you ate for breakfast that you’re feeling. You may not initially recognize that it is the pull of the Holy Spirit, but He will gently, and sometimes not so gently, get you to move His direction. Don’t worry, He’s patient. “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it” (Philippians 1:6). 

The third sign you may be called to be a missionary?

3. You see dead people.

No, not literally. But spiritually, you see dead people. Remember that Bruce Willis movie from 1999 The Sixth Sense? The boy in the movie saw dead people, and Bruce Willis spent the whole movie with him not knowing that he himself, was in fact, dead. The boy knew, and he told him, “I see dead people.” He was subtle about telling him. But he told him.  

If you walk the streets of a large city, say Istanbul, that has a population of 16 million people, and you see 16 million spiritually dead people, going to a Christ-less eternity and it utterly wrecks you, then the mantle is upon you. You see people through spiritual eyes, recognizing they are dead in their sins, and need to hear the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  

The fourth sign you may be called to be a missionary: 

4. You believe Truth is a Person, with a capital P, and His name is Jesus.

You have a holy unsettling in doing what the world tells you to do, to “live your truth.” You probably read John 1 that tells us that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” and you realized that if God made Himself known to us, and He made Himself known to you, then He wants others to know Him as well.  

You probably also read John 14:6 where Jesus says “I am the Way the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through Me.” So, you recognize that people need to be told Jesus is the way to the Father, that they may not just find Him themselves. 

The fifth sign you may be called to be a missionary? 

5. You know what is to come.

You know what is to come, and you need to give this spoiler alert. There is an urgency in your heart. And you realize that you are one who hears! So you say, “‘Come!’ Let anyone who hears, say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come. Let the one who desires take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17). 

My friend, respond to the words of Jesus.  

Go.  

Go knowing that “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promises, like you consider Him to be slow, but is patient with you,” as He waits for you to respond to His call, “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).  

How can you say “Yes” to God’s call to be a missionary?

Saying “Yes” to God’s call will look different for every single one of us as we learn to walk in the YOUnique ministry God made for us. For some that means being a dentist, or a mom, or a bank president. For others it means moving internationally to take the Gospel to an unreached people group. 

Not sure what your “Yes” to God’s call might look like? Dive into one of Forge Founder and President Dwight Robertson’s most beloved resources to discover your every day, everywhere unique purpose, Plan A

Wondering if or already know you are called to vocational or international missions? Check out this page for additional helps and encouragement: I Believe God Called Me to Vocational/Full-Time Ministry.