- The mission field just isn’t for me.
- God’s just not calling me to be a missionary.
- I’ll do mission work when I have more time.
- Missionary? I don’t have enough money for that.
- I don’t know where I should go.
- Full-time mission work? It doesn’t even pay.
- It’s too risky.
These are just a few of the misconceptions that friends have shared with me in the past.
1-The mission field just isn’t for me.
The mission field is for every follower of Christ. It’s what every one of us is called to. As followers of Jesus, our goal is to point others towards the grace and the love we have found. “Go and make disciples” isn’t meant to be a catchphrase on the back of t-shirts; it’s meant to be lived.
2- God’s just not calling me to be a missionary.
You don’t have to hear an audible call from God in the silence of night to know that He wants you to be a missionary. It’s in His word time and time again. Jesus’ disciples moved with Him while He was on the earth. They lived as He lived, as they were learning from Him. We are to do the same, knowing that He goes with us wherever we go. It’s the awakened heart’s natural response to the love He has shown at the cross.
Walk with Christ and follow where He leads.
3- I’ll do mission work when I have more time.
As humans, we will never have more time than we do now. We like to say we will, or even convince ourselves we will…but the truth is we won’t. We will never be able to get back the time that we pass up. We will never have more time ahead of us than we do right now. We must take advantage of the greatest resource we have been blessed with. We are not called to procrastinate. We are not called to waste.
We are called to move.
4- Missionary? I don’t have enough money for that.
The mission field is not specifically a poor orphanage on another continent, in the back-country where there is no cell phone service, or in rehabilitation centers on an island far away. It surely can be all of these things. But, moreover, the mission field is all around us. The mission field is every place where there are people. The mission is the saving of souls and the mission field is every place where this can happen. The mission field is our backyards, our schools, our office buildings, our bus routes, our hangouts, our churches, our sports teams, and our families. There is no required expenditure; the only requirement is Christ-like love. The mission field is anywhere and everywhere that we choose to love as He loves; you don’t have to take an airplane to get there. [John 13:34-35]
5- I don’t know where I should go.
We want to be where God wants us to be. Sometimes people feel a tug on their heart for a certain location or career. Other times people are able to find their way based on the talents they have been blessed with. What matters the most is that wherever we find ourselves, we are found living for Christ and doing the work of His Kingdom. [Matthew 6:33] Be extravagantly compassionate right where you are, wherever that is.
It matters less about where you go and more about how you go.
6- Full time mission work? I just don’t have time for that. I’m a teacher, doctor, nurse, engineer, pilot, etc. And mission work doesn’t even pay.
As Christ followers, our time on this earth is our number one ministry tool. Our lives are to be demonstrations of Christ, in word and in deed. This is not contained to Sundays and Wednesdays, it’s a lifestyle of love that points others to Jesus. The time we have has been given to us so that we can live missional lives. He gave us life worth living; to live monotonously, to live without purpose, to not be reaching out, is to waste the greatest gift. To know Jesus and to make Him known is the life of Christ followers. Use whatever career or atmosphere you are in to glorify God. To say that mission work doesn’t pay is a major misunderstanding. We work towards a paycheck all our lives, and that money is temporary. When our work is bringing others to Christ and growing them in their faith, there is eternal reward.
Through doing our best, through loving and caring, through showing true concern, through our good deeds, they will know the One we serve. To love Jesus with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength is to be a missionary. As Christ followers, we are to live for Him in all aspects of life. This isn’t a part time thing. This isn’t a relationship we should keep hidden away. It’s a relationship that should be known to those around us, and shared. That’s what missionaries do. They share the greatest relationship they have found. That is the life Christ followers live.
7- It’s too risky.
Risky? Not when we understand What Jesus Has Done.