What if I told you that your definition of a missionary could be completely off? The view held by the majority of Christians today about missionaries is false. The misconceptions held by the Christian church prevents them from being truly impactful for the Kingdom of God. In this series, I will examen the common perspective about missionaries, define what/who a missionary is, and challenge each of you to embrace the role God has for you in His Kingdom.
3 Common Misconceptions
First, I'd like to take a look at three common perspectives held about missionaries.
To be a missionary you must go to foreign countries.
To be a missionaries one must be sent a Devine revelation.
To be a missionary, you must quit your job and devote your career to the mission field.
The Backstory of Missions
If you can relate to any of the misconceptions, I challenge you to pray God will change your perspective. Growing up in the church, missionaries would come and visit our church maybe once a year or every few years. We would be shown videos or photos of those serving in the missions field. The pastor would make a presentation and strongly encourage the church to give towards funding missions.
During the presentation images of poorly nourished children and poor living conditions would be displayed. Those serving in the field would be shown handing out food, teaching, or playing with children. These photos would stir the hearts of the congregation. When the offering plate came by many would reach for their purses or wallets to see what they could give. Then life went on as usual.
The Reality of Missions
The truth of the matter is each one of us as Christians are missionaries the moment we place our faith in Jesus Christ. Confronted with the reality of Christ, our salvation, and if we choose to live for Him, we become missionaries in a foreign land. The foreign land, the mission field just happens to be in our own backyard.
Those dedicated, selfless individuals we see in images are definitely serving in missions. Going to foreign impoverished lands, handing out food, Bibles, and being Jesus is part of missions. It is only one part of missions. The rest of the missionaries are sitting in church, checking their watches. They are wondering where they'll go to eat after church.
You see, we all are called by God in our own way to serve in missions. We may not devote our career to it or go to any 3rd world countries, but we are all missionaries 24/7. Our mission field may be our workplace or neighborhood or our own family.
Where has God called you to be a missionary? What is your mission field?