One of the greatest excuses of our time is not having been “called” to global missions. You know how it goes, “Oh yeah, that’s not for me, I’m straight yo! God has not called me to go anywhere but to serve right here in (you fill in the blank).”
Jesus was pretty explicit when He told us to go. Now you tell me, does this sound like an option to consider, or a command to be obeyed?
“So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything that I have told you to do. You can be sure that I will be with you always. I will continue with you until the end of time.” Matthew 28:19-21 Easy-to-Read for People-Who-Can’t-Read Version (ERV)
The command to go, make disciples of all nations (ethnic groups), and teach people to obey is not exclusive to a select few committed fanatics but for every person who professes to follow Jesus. We are all meant to be a part of God’s global redemptive purposes no matter where or who we are.
Uhhh, yea that sounds pretty hardcore you say, but what about the needs here? What about right here in our own backyard? The truth is there will always be more than enough resources and people to meet the needs of the West. God has not left our people without a witness. Yet there are dark places in the world where there is absolutely no witness. There are entire groups of people who don’t even have the word for Jesus in their language.
O.K., another question; so what about the fact that I can’t physically go? Some of you reading this may be beyond your years and you can’t just take off on a grand adventure to fight dragons like Bilbo Baggins. Maybe you don’t have any legs, literally; maybe you just lost them in a car accident and you sit in a wheelchair. Do you seriously believe that God has not given you the capacity to be involved in His global redemptive purposes because you got no legs? There are many ways to strategically engage in missions to the unreached through sending, praying, welcoming, learning, and mobilizing just to name a few.
God has given us the capacity to do everything He’s asked us to do. Everyone is called to be a part of reaching the nations but only a few go. Let’s not make anymore excuses. The only thing keeping you from going….is YOU.
Like your points, however i’d disagree with you on the physically go part, although i believe some people are called to be missionaries in foreign cultures, i’d say as for me, being an Iceland, I’m called to stay here and do what God gives me to do in Iceland, but i’d still consider myself a missionary 🙂
What changed me is how the word “Go” in the passage is used in the greek language, every time it’s used in the New testament it’s given with a passive tense, like my blog said, that it could be phrased “As you go” meaning as you live your daily lives. Like me just living in Iceland, we have about 7 thousand Polish people here, and refugees from Iran, and all over the world, people are located here in Iceland, which is pretty unique considering we only have a population of about 300 thousand people (there is a church in south korea with 3 times more members then our population! that’s just nuts)
But my point being, right here from Iceland I can impact the world, I can literally impact Poland, Iran and so many countries of the world by just making disciples of people from those countries, reminds me a lot of the Acts 8:26-40, where Philip meets up with the Ethiopian Eunuch, to this day Ethiopia is in a large part a christian nation. And I believe that can be traced back to the days of Philip but I haven’t done enough research on the topic so I welcome a historian to prove me wrong 🙂
But yeah so I agree with you that some people are called to go to foreign cultures, but i’d think it would be more effective if we would make disciples who are from that culture and then they don’t have to study the culture, language and behavior to reach the people back in their own culture 🙂
Thanks for the engaging feedback Gunnar – and cool name by the way.
I enjoyed your post and agree with you about the “Go” being in the passive tense in the Greek. The problem is, most people don’t live their “daily lives as if they are going”. Whether or not they are in a foreign country or in their own neighborhood, the average believer does not live on mission. Part of it is unawareness and the other part is apathy.
I firmly believe the Lord uses all things to bring about His glory. He sends us to far away places and He brings the nations to us. I’ve worked with refugees for many years in the States, hell I am one. But my main point was the lack of workers in unreached areas of the world. The places where there are no churches and no witnesses. These are neglected for many reasons.
But you are right, foreign missions in a foreign culture is something special. It is hard damn work to learn a new language, culture and contexualized Gospel message. There is power when the Good News is proclaimed in the presence of the people. But we live a new world of endless opportunities where anyone with any capability can be involved in foreign missions.
Lastly, remember that God used persecution to send his people out and Phillip had left his homeland in faith. He was literally walking/going “south on the desert road away from Jerusalem”. After the Ethiopian, God transported him to a new town!
It’s good to engage others with a Kingdom mindset and a Missional heart. I’m asking that the Lord would bless your endeavors in Iceland, which everyone says is very green by the way.
I agree with you on this one.
We are all called to go in some aspect or another. God gave us different ministry gifts and abilities. Some for home front missions and others for abroad missions.
God gave us the ability to be versatile so that we can reach all kinds of people. After all, God does not want any to die for lack of knowledge but that all should live with the knowledge of the truth.
Something I wonder about this subject. When people decide not to evangelize what is their reasoning? Are they limited by past experiences? Are they afraid of what might happen? Are they afraid of what might not happen?
I enjoy one evangelist in particular…His name is Nick Vujicic. He was born in Brisbane, Australia with a peculiar problem. No arms, and no legs. He was born with no arms, and no legs and he is still being the hands and feet of Jesus to the world encouraging others to live a more action oriented life whether here (wherever he is) or abroad.
Thank you for your post. It was exceptionally written because many are called to but few actually go.
Thanks Harvest for your awesome thoughts.
Why some people do not choose to live on mission? That is a great question.
Gunnar had a great point, “Going” is a lifestyle. It is really a paradigm that has to be internalized. Missions is not something extra we do it must be part of the very DNA of who we are – disciple makers.
The second sad truth is we don’t know how to live missionally. The average believer can’t answer three basic questions; Why Share Jesus, To Whom Should I Share, and How Do I Share?
I remember Nick Vujicic! I’ve seen him speak and he is inspirational.
Thanks for the stimulating discussions and not being afraid to GO. Press On!