Friday, June 8, 2012

Who Is Qualified and Called to Missions?

For many in the church the mindset of missions has been that it is something for people that are almost being punished by God in a sense, by getting sent to a foreign land where they no longer get to eat their favorite foods, have AC, or be with their close friends. Okay, to be completely honest on a really bad day I sometimes have that thought myself, but the reality is that this is far from the truth on many levels. At the most basic level this kind of thought pattern assumes wrongly that one must move to a foreign land in order to be a missionary.

This idea of a missionary is the norm in many church circles, as most people consider it something that happens outside of the US and that it is something not for them, but those other people. In the words of Alan Hirsch, "We have tended to see mission as something we do in 'heathen nations' and not on the home base. We evangelize here and do mission there. This has rightly been called the 'geographic myth.'"

So, who is qualified and called to do missions? The reality is that as Christians we are all qualified and called to be missionaries and in many cases already been sent to the people we are called to reach. I have written on this in the past in calling people to embrace their roles as everyday missionaries, because wherever you are in your current situation, God has placed you there as a missionary. In some places this maybe only for a season, but embrace that season.

Part of the problem is that the average follower of Christ needs to actively embrace the role of a missionary just as one who is sent to a foreign land. Figure out who it is that you are called to reach and embrace the lingo, learn the culture, and present the gospel in a contextualized manner.

As a follower of Christ you are called to be a missionary in your city, in your neighborhood, at your place of work, etc. And until churches our full of people embracing their roles as missionaries it will be impossible to truly have a missional church as one key thing will be lacking. Alan Hirsch says it this way, "It is impossible to be a missional church if we fail to be missional people."


  1. Great observations. It was this type of thinking that finally opened our ears to hear our call out of the country. I know that's not for everyone but missional living is. That seems to be a catch phrase these days. I hope the actions are as catching. Good post my bearded brother ;-)>

  2. Ken, glad to hear that you guys are being obedient to serving overseas at this time in your life as is my family. And I fully agree that everyone may not be called to serving in an overseas role, but we are all called to missional living in everyday life wherever God has placed us.