I grew up in the church, so I’ve heard about “missionaries” for a long time. I know about Lottie Moon and Jim Elliot. I went to Vacation Bible School every summer and gave money to missionaries “far away” in really, really “foreign” places. I’ve watched documentaries and read books about missions. I just spent this summer in Thailand on a “mission trip.”
So I have to ask myself, am I a missionary? Do I qualify? Do I put that on my resume?
What does it mean?
We throw “missions” and similar words around a lot. But the truth is, we’re all on a mission. We’ve come with purpose. We’re intentional. Being a missionary doesn’t always mean long skirts and huts. It also doesn’t mean campfires and songs. It means doing life wherever (and however) He leads.
We’re called to go everywhere: the office, the neighborhood, New York City, other hemispheres, the world. We often just don’t feel like we’re “called” to those places that seem so far away, and that’s upsetting. That 10/40 Window* isn’t a math problem. It’s a serious disobedience problem. We should always give (time, money, etc.), but I think we often forget to give ourselves. Why is it so hard to count everything as a loss compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ?
I used to believe that I couldn’t be called overseas because I just “wasn’t that type of Christian.” Is every Christian called to move to a foreign context? I don’t know. What I do know is that we aren’t supposed to be satisfied in this world. Every context is going to be foreign because this world is not our home. Until that day when I am finally and fully sanctified, I’m just going to be pitching my tent wherever He leads. The key is to follow wherever that may be. It’s so easy for me to harden my heart to those around me, and it’s even easier to forget those I’ve never met, those that have no hope of knowing Christ because they have never heard His name.
I pray I listen to Him everyday. I pray that I hear His voice over the busy schedules, future plans, selfish desires and temptations to remain complacent and satisfied. I pray I want more than this world has to offer.
“When it comes to world missions, there are only three kinds of Christians: zealous goers, zealous senders, and disobedient.” – John Piper.
Which are you?
By Rebekah Robinson