Want to be a Missionary? Start Learning a New Language.


One thing I often get asked by young people is, "I [think I] want to be a missionary. What should I do to now prepare?" I have a list of things I tell these young people and one of the things on that list is this:

Learn another language—preferably one that isn't a romantic or germanic language unless you know that’s the language you’ll need for the field. I don't care if you ever end up using that language on the field. What it will do is it will cause you to exercise the parts of your brain that are used for secondary language learning. If are using those parts of your brain regularly, it will be easier for you to use those same parts to learn another language. But if you don't exercise those parts of your brain, it will only get harder the older you get.

Today I saw that Duolingo added Arabic as an offering on their app. That means that you can begin to learn all of the world's top 6 languages using Duolingo (which is free). There are tons of other tools out there, so pick one you like and start learning a language. And don't forget to try to find some people you can talk to who speak that language. Hearing it spoken and using it regularly is what's going to help you learn it best.

Whether you plan to go overseas to share the gospel of truth or not, I'd encourage you to get out there and start learning another language—even if you aren't all that young. You might be surprised by how much you learn as a result that has little to do with language.

And they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.”

(Revelation 5:9, ESV)

Heather H.Comment