I’ll answer your question with a question—the same question I ask every college graduate at The Summit Church:
You’ve got to get a job somewhere. Why not get a job in a place where God is doing something strategic?
Whatever you do, do it well for the glory of God, and do it somewhere strategic for the mission of God. We challenge our college graduates to let the mission of God be the most significant factor in determining where and how they pursue their careers. We challenge them to dedicate the first two years after they graduate to join a church planting team working somewhere in North America or around the globe. We call it the “Go2 Challenge.”
Whether you are in college considering what God has for you next, at a transitional point in your career, or nearing retirement, why not consider investing two years directly into the mission of God?
Here’s a few questions you might have:
“Won’t Going for Two Years Mess Up My Career?”
College students sometimes ask me, “If I pause my career for two years, won’t I be behind?” Well, first, who says you have to pause it? The idea is that perhaps you can pursue your career in a location where you can be a part of a church plant. But even if you do pause it, like I did, it likely won’t set you back. If anything, it likely will help it.
Look through the biographies of CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and you’ll find that many of them had a post-college stint in the military or the Peace Corps. Living intentionally on mission, particularly in a challenging context, builds character in ways that no internship or apprenticeship can. These settings yield lifelong benefits. A friend of mine, who oversees one of the largest college scholarship and young leadership development programs in America, recently told me, “There’s a reason Mormons are so disproportionately represented in the upper echelons of business leadership. A lot of it goes back to the character development that takes place in their two-year mission.”
After being on a team like this for a couple of years, God may lead you to plant your life there permanently. That’s what happens to many of those we send from our church. Others return knowing they gave the first and best of their careers to God, something God surely will bless. Jesus said, after all, “Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). That verse applies to your career, too.
“How Can I Find Out About Opportunities?”
Great question. In the denomination our church participates in (the Southern Baptist Convention), it North American Mission Board has established 50 “Send Cities” which are under-churched and in which they can help partner you with a new church plant.
Additionally, our International Mission Board has a number of two-year programs that can place you on a team serving somewhere overseas in the least reached places on earth.
Your denomination or local church probably has its own connections. Groups like Cru, Frontiers, Campus Outreach, and Radical have cross-denominational opportunities you can access as well.
If all that sounds too tough, just move to Raleigh and join the The Summit Church. We’ll send you out from here! Kidding. Sort of. I mean, we won’t turn you away. Just come on over and we’ll figure it out.
You can find out more about these (and other) options at go2years.net.
“Do I Need to Leave Behind My Job?”
Maybe. For many, you will be able to find a job in your career field in one of these places. If so, you’ll be able to go without having to raise money. Financially, you’ll be a net-positive for the mission!
God calls some to leverage their careers, for others to leave them, and for others to lead a church. At our church, we call this for the leverage or leave? question. Is God calling you to leverage your career for the Great Commission, like the Moravians, or to leave it behind, like William Carey, Adoniram Judson, and Lottie Moon? He leads his followers both directions. Additionally, if God has called you to lead a church, why not consider serving a church in a much-less-reached country?
The Summit Church leadership development at The Summit Institute.