Our Great Commission
If you’re a believer, you are part of the awesome body of Christ, which is called to bring His light to the world both individually and corporately. Though many see the church as a social organization, that’s not what the Bible says it is. Sometimes we forget that our purpose isn’t simply to have fellowship, sing, preach, and worship. Jesus entrusted us with good news of the true life He offers to everyone. This calling isn’t just for foreign “missionaries”—it’s for every believer. Your mission field includes your family, friends, coworkers, and perhaps even a people group God puts on your heart, often right in your community.
Before returning to heaven, Jesus gave His disciples the Great Commission, in which He promised to be with believers to the end of the age. That pledge still stands. He doesn’t send us out to do His work on our own. Vowing never to leave us, He gave the assurance that all tasks He assigns will be achieved through us by His Holy Spirit.
What an honor to be included in the Lord’s redemptive plan for the world! He invites you to have a vital part in His kingdom work of transforming what is broken and giving new life. Everything you do in obedience is an opportunity for His Spirit to work powerfully through you!
What Does it Mean to be a Christian Missionary?
Evangelism is a huge part of missions. The purpose of missions is to bring the gospel to others around the world. Missionaries are called to reach out to the nations, just as Paul reached out. Missionary evangelism comes in numerous forms and is done in a variety of places.
Two most notable missionaries of the Bible were Isaiah and Paul. Isaiah was more than willing to be sent out. He had a heart for missions. Often churches give the impression that we all should be out doing missions, but sometimes it's not so. Missionaries have a calling to evangelize around the world. Some of us are called to stay where we are to evangelize to those around us. We should not feel pressured to go on mssion trips, but instead we should search our hearts for God's calling on our lives. Paul was called to travel to the nations and make disciples of gentiles. While we are all expected to preach the gospel, not everyone is called to go far from home to do it, nor is every missionary called to do missions permanently. Some are called for short term missions.
So, let's say you are called to missions, what does that mean? There are numerous types of missions. Some Christian missionaries are called to preach and plant churches. They travel the world creating disciples and building churches in areas where Christian education is lacking. Others are sent to use their skills to teach children in underdeveloped countries, or some are even called to teach in needier areas of their own countries. Some Christian missionaries show God by doing things that aren't seen as overly religious, but do more to show God's love in tangible ways (e.g. providing medical care to those in need, teaching English as a second language, or providing emergency services after a natural disaster).
There is no right or wrong way to be a missionary. As seen in the Bible, missionaries and evangelists are used by God in God's own way. He designed us all to be unique, so what we are called to do is unique. If you feel called to missions, it's important that we examine our hearts for how God wants us to work, not necessarily how those around us are working. For instance, you may be called to missions in Europe while your friends may be called to Africa. Follow what God tells you, because that's what He designed you to do.
Missions take a lot of examination of your heart. Missions are not always the easiest job, and in some cases are very dangerous. In some cases, God may tell you that you're called to be a Christian missionary, but it may not be until you're older. Being a missionary means having a servant's heart, so it may take time for you to develop the skills to complete the work of God. It also means having an open heart, because sometimes God will have you develop close relationships, and then you will one day have to move on to God's next task for you. Sometimes the work is finite.
No matter what, God has plans for you. Maybe it's missionary work, maybe it's administration or worship closer to home. Missionaries do a lot of good work around the world, and they try to not only make the world a better place, but a more Godly place. The types of work they do varies greatly, but what links all Christian missionaries is a love of God and a calling to do God's work.