What Are the Roles & Duties of a Missionary?

A missionary is someone who attempts to convert others to his belief system. Missionaries take that name because they go on “missions”—usually to foreign countries—to spread their beliefs, usually while also providing some sort of basic relief or services to individuals and communities.

1 Share Gospel

A missionary’s prime role is to use every opportunity available to serve as a “witness.” He does this by teaching others about his religion. He may do this formally through sermons and lectures, or he may do so informally by talking one-on-one with others about his beliefs.

2 Train Groups

A missionary may be charged with providing training to other Christians in an area he’s visiting to share their common beliefs with others, according to the Standing on the Water website. The goal of this is to ensure that the missionary work goes on long after the missionary has returned home from a mission.

3 Community Building

Missionaries use their individual education and skill sets in varying ways during a mission. For instance, a missionary who served as a teacher in her home country may serve as a school teacher in the mission country, or someone who worked as an architect back home may help a community establish a safe drinking water source or build safe housing in the mission country. Others who do not have specialized education and training may simply help where needed, such as passing out meals or providing child care.

4 Report Back

Missionary trips are often supported entirely by funding from those going on the missions and their families. However, in some instances, churches will help offset the cost of a mission. In these cases, missionaries may have to report on the progress and success of a mission to their home church.

Cynthia Gomez has been writing and editing professionally for more than a decade. She is currently an editor at a major publishing company, where she works on various trade journals. Gomez also spent many years working as a newspaper reporter. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northeastern University.