I have always had problems with the context of the word “Missionary!” Just ask my wife! Over the last ten years we have had many exhausting debates over how we describe our vocation. She has been consistent and confident! I have been troubled and out right confused on how to communicate this frustration with the Missionary Vocation. I am a missionary! But to say that that is my vocation does not accurately represent God’s desire for all His people.
Scriptures like “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” Mt. 28:19
“… the fields are white unto harvest, but the workers are few.” Matthew 9:37,38
“As the Father has sent me, I also send you.”(Jn 20:21)
are NOT just in Vocational Missionaries’ Bibles! They are for all of us who walk with Jesus! I truly do not believe missions is a vocation, but a way of life. There are those who are Vocational Fundraisers. There are those called to leave home. There are those who spend 40 hours a week in Bible teaching and discipleship. And that is all Good! But ALL who claim the name of Jesus are called to be the incarnation of Jesus. To make Jesus available in Judea, Jeruselem, and the ends of the earth. Jesus was a simple carpenter. He used his hands to provide for his family. He was involved in the culture around him. And yet Jesus was God incarnate!
Floyd McClung says, “He (Jesus) was fully divine. Yet He did not allow his divine rights or prerogatives to overwhelm how He related to ordinary human beings. He did life. He sanctified the ordinary. He did not live from one spiritual high to the next. He suffered. Experienced frustration, endured hardship. And waited for the right way and the right time to fulfill the will of his Father in heaven. He lived purposefully but in the context of ordinary work and family and fun. He lived life intentionally. He validated ordinary life to sanctify ordinary life for the rest of us and He lived an integrated type of spirituality…. He made God available in his neighborhood.”
Whether a plumber, teacher, banker, artist, janitor, or even an IRS employee, you have an audience, a crowd, they are called colleagues and neighbors. Identify, engage, and serve the people around you and we will see neighborhoods, towns, cities, and nations changed. We will see God bring relevant answers to the issues we are facing. We will see a shift in the war against AIDS, crime, drugs, rape, murder, divorce, depression, poverty, disease, corruption! Orphans will find a HOME! Lost will be found!
It is not hard! It is simple! When we lived in New Haven we started a weekly meal that we started inviting people from our neighborhood to. With in a month our house had 30 people eating together every Thursday night. Simply sharing a meal turned into times of prayer and encouragement. We were doing life and it brought HOPE. There was one man who started coming and then began to ask regulary if he could help me paint my garage. I politely said “No, you don’t have to do that.” He was persistent, so one weekend we went to it. 45 minutes into the job he began to tell me that the real reason he wanted to help was he wanted to have some one on one time to share what was going on in is marriage. I thought to myself, “I am not qualified to help with this,” but God spoke to me and said “you are qualified to listen.”
We must simply DO the Kingdom! Do what Jesus taught His disciples to do, pray to see how God sees, go to the people and enter their world, listen to their story, serve them, bless them, heal the sickness of people’s heart, and share the good news and hope of Jesus!
“As the Father has sent me, I also send you.” – Jesus