Everyday Missionary

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.

3 Misconceptions of Missionaries

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.

  1. To be a missionary you must go to foreign countries.

  2. To be a missionaries one must be sent a Devine revelation.

  3. 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?