I’ve noticed recently that the Body of Christ usually has a limit view of what “missions work” or “serving God” is.
Simply, missions is expanding the Kingdom of God.
It's not only pastors and church employees who expand God's Kingdom. We are ALL meant to do that.
We have different roles within the Body. Yes. We all have different ways we can edify the church. (Ephesians 4:11&12, 1 Corinthians 14:12, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27) Those things are extremely important, and we DO expand the Kingdom BY edifying the church (which is God's family.)
But let's take it father than that - reaching outside our congregations and circles. There are seven spheres of influence, and we are all in at least one of them, if not many of them. Family, Education, Celebration (arts, entertainment, & sports), Religion, Government, Media, and Economics (business, science and technology) *souce: http://ywampodcast.net/shows/teaching/the-seven-spheres-of-influence-loren-cunningham/ But whatever spheres we are in, we have work to do. We are all ministers doing ministry. Or at least, we should be.
Jonathan and I just happen to be full-time, "self-supported" (relying on gifts from friends and family), volunteer missionaries with a missions organization. That’s the role God has asked us to do. We’ve given our lives to Him and that’s how He’s led us. Great!
But listen to me - there are more ways to serve God than to be a pastor or a foreign missionary.
You can serve God and EXPAND His Kingdom as a business owner, a parent, a grandparent, a nurse, a waitress, a mechanic, a teacher, a student, a movie-maker, etc. We are all called to make disciples of all peoples. We each have a direct part to play in that, in our giving, yes, but also in our GOING and DOING.
Jesus never gave us license to “stay” except when he was telling his disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit to come upon them. Which brings a good point. The Holy Spirit is the one who equips us for ministry. He brings the boldness. If a Christian has no desire or feels totally unequipped to be any kind of a witness (using words!) of the truth of Jesus, then the Holy Spirit is waiting to fill that person. They just need to ask. (Romans 10:14&15, Acts 1:8)
By “going” I don’t mean everyone should move to a new city. I mean all Christ followers have a call by nature to be actively doing the work God has asked them to do. Making disciples, serving the poor, sharing Jesus with the lost, worshiping Jesus daily and talking with Him, and loving their fellow Christians well. We are all meant to live our lives “on mission” whether we have the title “missionary” or not.
I know many amazing people who have no “official” positions in ministry organizations but are amazing at loving their friends and enemies. So many are missionaries and they might not even realize it!
See, missions is not about WHERE you live, it's about HOW you live.
I love seeing people serving the Lord in the area of society He’s placed them in. When we fully surrender to Him, He’ll give us work to do. And it’s not always what we think it’s going to be. He likes to surprise us.
I HAVE to share about an amazing lady I met during our time living on the YWAM base while Stonecroft Ministries was still sharing the base. I met an elderly woman who expanded my idea of living on mission. She was the most firely 90 year old I had ever met. She loved talking about Jesus and what He had done for her. Even when it was time for her to live in a nearby nursing home, she and I kept in touch. She was witnessing to everyone she met in her home! Even though she had severe health issues, she never stopped shining the love of Jesus brightly. She loved our children, and knew they were the future. I will always remember her.
And I've met others like her as well. My great-uncle in Minnesota was very similar. We were privilaged to visit him on a trip to Minnesota about 5 years ago. Next time we see him, we will be with Jesus together.
I want to be like these patriots of the faith. I want to never grow weary of doing good but to live well, led by the Spirit, every single day.