Many people ask me how to get themselves ready to serve on a One Year Challenge.

The answer is really pretty simple: do everything you can to be a great servant in your home church, before you go. 

I often tell people, “you don’t become a different person when you get off the plane.” The day-to-day sacrifice that happens in church in your hometown or in your campus ministry is exactly what you want to bring to a One Year Challenge site.

So here are some practical suggestions:

(1) Get busy serving in big and small ways. Teach in Kids Kingdom. Get on the usher or communion team. Set up chairs. You may not do things like this in another country, but you’ll need to develop the same spirit of service!

(2) Learn how to study the Bible with someone. If you already know, lead as many studies as possible before you leave. If you don’t know, ask someone, “Can I sit in on your Bible study and learn?”

(3) Clean something. Organize your room, your computer files, your closet, etc. If you can’t be trusted with small things, how can you be trusted with a great mission?

(4) Learn to disciple someone. Ask for the opportunity to be a discipler.  If you are discipling someone, get regular input on how you are doing. Many sites have more baby Christians than they can effectively mature, and your experience will help.

(5) Read a lot of Bible and a bunch of spiritual books on doctrine, dating, marriage, apologetics, biographies. etc. (Notice that this comes last! Many people want a reading list and intend to hibernate from service until their OYC. Make sure your learning prep is paired with serving prep.) Campus ministries and mission churches need people who have more than bumper-sticker answers to the tough questions. Get Biblically literate.