No matter who you are, you can benefit from learning how to become a good communicator. There are so many ways to communicate: email, cell phones, social media, public speaking, and let’s not forget the most important communication tool—listening.
Since most of us live and travel abroad, we need to stay up-to-date on what’s going on around us and make sure to not lose contact with those back home. Communication is one of the building blocks to healthy relationships, and relationships are key to opening the door to sharing the gospel with those around you.
Here are 9 quick-and-easy things that all missionaries should know how to do when it comes to the (broad) area of communication.
As much as you'll want to preach, pray, and share your testimony with someone, remember that sometimes the most important thing you can do is listen.
Be gentle, considerate, and gracious; if you don't truly care about their story, odds are they won't feel understood and won't care about what you have to say. Listen to their heart, and instead of being quick to offer advice, ask God to give you the words to speak.
It doesn't always have to be a long, mind-blowing sermon. After all, Jesus radically transformed people through a few simple truths.
There will be plenty of times when you’ll be able to give a longer version of your testimony, but the truth is you don't always get 30 minutes up at the front. You need to know how to keep your story short, sweet, and relevant for your audience. Oh, and don't forget to wait for translation!
Speaking of translation—not everyone speaks the same language (surprise!). This makes translation a part of everyday life on the mission field.
Learning to wait for your translator to communicate what you’re saying is a big one. The last thing you want is to be misunderstood by the other half of the group that doesn’t speak your native language!
If you've been on the mission field for any amount of time, you might get an invitation to speak briefly at your Sunday morning service about what you're doing.
Don't shy away from these opportunities! Use this as a way to inform your church family about the exciting things that God's been doing in the nations and in your life.
Keeping people back home up-to-date is vital when you're on the mission field. Make sure that you find a good program and template to use so that you can write newsletters quickly and send them out to people even when you're in a hurry.
If you’re going to be spending any amount of time in a different country, you’ll probably want to pick up a local SIM card for your cell phone. Minutes and data are incredibly cheap in many parts of the world.
You’ll be able to communicate with friends and family back home for much cheaper than paying for roaming charges. The only thing you need is an unlocked smartphone and you’re good to go!
Your friends and family back home will be scrolling through your social media accounts looking for updates or pictures from you. Make sure you take some good photos (even if it's on your phone) for your parents to see and share with the people asking about your life on the missions field.
Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube—these are useful for more than just keeping up with daily life back home. Use your social media as a way to let people know where you are and what you've been doing. And don’t forget to share testimonies of what God is doing!
How can we affect the nations when we don't even know what's going on in them? Use your smartphone and download your favorite news app to be up-to-date with current events, pray for the nations regularly, and read books about different countries and cultures.
When you immerse yourself in world events, you’ll find that your heart for the nations will only get bigger. Read more on our blog How to Become a Missionary: Know What's Going On in the World.
Obviously there’s more than one way to communicate, and different situations call for different forms of communication.
Just remember to make sure that you’re aware of what’s going on around you and who you need to be sharing information with. Take people with you in your communication—don’t leave them behind!
Speaking of communication, let’s get in touch! We’d love to connect with you to see how YWAM Mazatlan can be part of training you and sending you out to the nations to be part of the biggest wave of missionaries the world has ever seen! Fill out the form below and you’ll hear from us soon.