Where Do Missionaries Come From?

Everyday Missionary - Where Do Missionaries Come From? The whole concept of missionaries got me thinking about how missionaries begin their journey. Do theses individuals have an experience like Paul in the dessert where a blinding light shines on them with a deep voice instructing their next move? Are they selfless people who never considered another career? Were they raised by saints brought up to work for God. The idea got me thinking. Where do missionaries come from?

First, to address the question one must consider the definition of missionary.

**According to Merriam-Webster's Learning Dictionary**

A missionary is a person who is sent to a foreign country to do religious work (such as to convince people to join a religion or to help people who are sick, poor, etc.)

What This Means for Us

If we go by this definition we make a few assumptions.

To be a missionary one must be sent to a foreign country.
To be a missionary one must do religious work.
To be a missionary one must be there to help the sick or poor.
To be a missionary one must be convincing people to join a religion.

Looking at this definition and the assumptions I cannot help but see where they derive from. Still, I would like to examen these assumptions and provide a different perspective. When referring to Christian missionaries, a person might assume the missionary is sent by a few sources either an organization, God or self. I believe it is important to look to the Bible for another perspective.

There was a man in Lystra who couldn't walk. He sat there, crippled since the day of his birth. He heard Paul talking, and Paul, looking him in the eye, saw that he was ripe for God's work, ready to believe. So he said, loud enough for everyone to hear, "Up on your feet!" The man was up in a flash—jumped up and walked around as if he'd been walking all his life. (Acts 14:8-10 MSG)

Ready to Believe

So, with this scripture we see Paul recognizing the qualifications for a missionary. The man was, "ready to believe." With this in mind, I would challenge the definition of a missionary.

Missionary Qualifications - According to the Bible:
Ready to believe - Accept Jesus gift of salvation.
Willing - Willing to do God's work.

If we take this definition seriously, this would mean all believers or Christians are capable of being a missionary. No where in the Bible does it say one must travel to foreign lands or convince someone to become a Christian. It only requires believers to be ready and willing.

So my challenge to all believers is to examen their lives and see where God has called you to be a missionary. What is your mission field? Your office, neighborhood, or city? No need to quit your job, just be willing to do God's work? No idea what God's work entails? In the upcoming posts, we will take a look at what God's work consists of and how it applies to your life.

What is Holding You Back?

Often when we hear the phrase, "what's holding you back?" We might think of our pride or our unwillingness to let go of something. The idea of something or someone keeping us from achieving our dreams should get our blood boiling. What we often fail to see is that something includes our sin or our desires.

Clean It Up

When it comes to living out our dreams we hate to think that we need to clean up our act. God has such big plans for lives. He wants to use us in ways we deem impossible, but we have to be willing to get rid of some things to move forward.

Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. (James 1:21 NIV84)

Give It Up

We like things in our timing don't we? I know I do, and I bet you do too. The Bible tells us many times that God's timing is not like ours nor our ways like His. Yet we assume His timing and plans are the same as ours. God is not our vending machine, ready when we are ready. We need to leave the timing up to Him.

Give Up

We like to blame our failures on circumstances or some unfortunate happening, but the hard fact maybe we need to give up. No, not give up our dreams, but submit our dreams to God. When our dreams fail, it is far from our fault we fell short. When we succeed, we are first in line bidding for credit of the outcome. What if we faithfully follow God, do OUR best, and give Him all the glory no matter the outcome?

Give OUR Best

This is such a fun play on words. When I refer to this term, I don't mean what it appears to mean. Okay, here goes. This is what we do. Be humble, in spirit and in our actions. Every good and perfect gift comes from the Lord anyway. Why try to steal the show? Be willing to act or wait patiently on God's request. Be ready, eagerly waiting and listening for God to speak. Be humble, willing, and ready. Do you see a pattern emerging?

Our Best has less to do with our actions and more to do with our attitude of mindfulness.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV84)