How Volunteering Can Help You Discover Your Mission

3 Things You Learn about Yourself When You Volunteer

Experience is one of life’s best teachers. As you seek to discover your mission in life, you can read about different opportunities, you can listen to other’s stories, but nothing beats firsthand experience.

Courtesy of Partners in Hope Lake Travis


Since a teenager, I have volunteered locally by serving food at a soup kitchen, stocking shelves at a food pantry, helping elderly widows, working on house repairs for less fortunate, helping build a church in Louisiana, and spending time with kids that lived at a children’s shelter.

Short term mission trips also gave me many opportunities to volunteer. I have helped conduct Vacation Bible Schools and build a church in Mexico, help build a school in Guatemala, handed out Bibles to Chinese Tourists in Thailand and Macau, dug a well in Honduras, hung out with more kids in a children shelter in Thailand, visited men, women and children in prisons in Thailand, prayer walked in Chinese villages, and spent time encouraging missionaries on the field.

When you volunteer for different things, especially things that out of your comfort zone, you begin to learn things about yourself that will help you discover your mission in life. Here are a few things that you will help you as you volunteer:

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How Is Your Lifestyle Affecting Your Mission?

4 Ways to Adapt Your Lifestyle to Your Mission

Does the way you live your life enable or hinder your ability to engage in mission? If you know what your mission is—whether it be orphan care, working with the poor, mentoring young couples—does your lifestyle help you embrace that mission?

We all have resources at our disposal. We have time, money, talents, relationships. Trouble is we tend to use them on our own agenda.

What dictates how you spend your resources? Do you put thought into these things or do you just go with the flow?

Another way to pose the question is, “Do I adapt my lifestyle to my mission or purpose in life?”

Here are a few ways that I think will help us intentionally adapt our lifestyle to our mission. Do understand, I am not an expert on this. Not even close! I find that I have to continually re-calibrate my life to stay on mission.

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Do You Know Why You Were Put on this Planet?

Discover Your Mission. Embrace Your Destiny

I posted a blog last month—Discover and Engage Your Passion. I want to expand on that thought. Passion, in this context, is defined as “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.”

As I work on refocusing my site, I had landed on that word. However, I decided that doesn’t quite define or capture what kind of content I want to offer.

I have blogged for over two years about mission. A good, general definition here is “a special assignment given to someone.”

Mission still describes what I want to blog about. Yes, mission involves passion as we do get enthusiastic and excited about a mission (at least we should). But I think passion is often thought of as something that comes from within us.

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What Do Your 2016 Goals Reveal about Yourself?

A new year. Resolutions for some. Others call them goals. Many don’t bother at all.

Regardless of where you fit, I am guessing that if you did set goals or make resolutions they look something like this:

  • Eat less.
  • Exercise more.
  • Plan a certain vacation.
  • Start a new project/business/hobby.
  • Make more money.
  • Spend more time with family and friends.

All good things for sure. Typically we make resolutions or set goals at the beginning of the year that focus on self-improvement. And, certainly goals like these help us accomplish a mission.

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3 Things I Love about the Church

Lately it’s easy to find someone bashing the church bemoaning everything that they find wrong with it. However there are many things to love about the church.


I think the disconnect lies with how we define church.

If you are referring to the multi-million dollar campuses that dot our landscape, the endless hours spent by professionals running the “machine”, or the entertainment approach so “they will stay at our church”, then you are right. I am not in love with that church.

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How to Live Life as Mission

Whether you visit my blog regularly or only occasionally, you might wonder what I blog about. My tagline says missional lifestyle. But what does that really mean?

Missional lifestyle— a life lived with intentionality; with a purpose.

A missional lifestyle doesn’t happen without intentionality. We tend to seek a comfortable, self-consumed life. Without intentionality we spend our time with people only like ourselves, in places we find the most convenient and the least stressful. We naturally gravitate to our “comfort zone”.

Many cringe when they think about “living on mission”. It sounds like adding something with an uncomfortable hidden agenda to their already busy life.

Instead, a missional lifestyle is simply one lived with an intentional focus on others with the desire they meet and know Jesus Christ. No need to add more to your schedule. Just refocus the intention of your schedule.

Caesar Kalinowski from Soma Communities puts it like this,

We need to move from a mindset of additional to intentional. What if God has actually given us this amazing way of seeing life that would make all of life one big, huge opportunity for discipleship and mission? Like everything we’re already doing, what if it’s already an opportunity, perfectly for discipleship and mission? He has. It’s the rhythm of life that he’s placed us in.

Here is a two drawings comparing the two mindsets:


From Verge Netowrk


Notice the difference of life and mission and life as mission. Life as mission is living life in your natural rhythm with intentionality.

That’s what I blog about. The intentional approach to living life as a mission.

But the question remains how exactly do we do that?

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-- Download How to Live Life as Mission as PDF --

How Your View of the World Affects Mission Work

We were standing around a pile on the ground of cement mix, rocks and sand. About 12 of us. Half of us from the U.S. The other half guys from this village high in the mountains of Guatemala.

Some of the local guys had just poured some water on the pile of mix in what looked like to me a strategic way. Then they stood back. Leaned on their shovels and talked. The pools of water slowly soaked into the pile. They seemed to not care.

All of us Americans began looking at each other. What are they waiting on? We are only here for a few days and we have a lot of work to do!

One of our young 20 something guys couldn’t take it any longer. He jumped at the pile with his shovel and began mixing the water into the pile as fast as he could. Another of our group joined him. They had the look of satisfaction on their faces. Now the job was getting done!

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How Safe Are Your Investments?

Do you invest? Are you like many that have no idea where to begin? Do you spend all or even more than you have?



You might be wondering if I decided to broaden the scope of what I blog about. Not really. I do though enjoy investing and learning about investment strategies.

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