We Are All Missionaries

The purpose of missions is to glorify God

God’s mission is to grow and expand his kingdom throughout the world, which means in your hometown and around the world.  This is not a physical kingdom, but a spiritual one that is reclaiming souls from the gates of hell. Missions is God’s victory march towards his eternal triumph, and the battle is being waged wherever God has placed his followers.

 

 

Why Missions?

The primary point of missions is not to train pastors, build houses, or teach VBS. The purpose of missions is to glorify God. God created the world to bring himself glory.  Everything exists to bring praises to God and missions seeks to exalt God’s name.

The purpose of our lives is to seek God’s glory throughout the world. Scripture tells us, “May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth! May desert tribes bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust! May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands render him tribute; may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts! May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him!” (Ps 72:8-11).

We begin to understand why we are here when we first begin to live our lives as a tribute to God. When we view our home, possessions, family and even our life as a gift from God, we will begin to view ourselves as a living sacrifice to the Lord. We must live our lives daily willing to return all we have to the one who gave it to us. Richard Sibbes, a sixteenth and seventeenth century English theologian, pointed to I Cor 10:31 when he said, “The whole life of a Christian should be nothing but praises and thanks to God; we should neither eat nor sleep, but eat to God and sleep to God and work to God and talk to God, do all to His glory and praise.”

The book of Romans supports the idea that we are called to give ourselves for God’s glory. “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom 12:1-2). This encapsulates what it means to live for God.

In his acclaimed book on missions, Let the Nations Be Glad, John Piper explains, “Missions exists because worship doesn’t.  Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. Worship is the fuel and goal of missions.”

Why You?

We are all a sinners saved by God’s grace.  The fall turned the world away from its’ true purpose, and the cross is God’s sacrifice to reclaim this world for his glory.  Missions is Christ on earth. God saved each of us with missions and missions is why he is using us now.

Throughout history the world has coveted strength, but God has always used weakness. When trying to conquer the world the Nazis sent brute force, the Romans sent skilled warriors, but God is sending the weak, poor and uneducated. We are all sinners and bring only disappointment as our contribution to our relationship with God. Jim Elliot, martyr and missionary to Ecuador said, “We are a bunch of nobodies trying to exalt Somebody.” Romans affirms Elliot’s assertion by reminding us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23).

Even with our imperfections God delights in using us to obtain glory via missions. Our sin only works to magnify his splendor. If God can accomplish great wonders while using chipped and broken vessels his glory is increased. Hudson Taylor, pioneering nineteenth century missionary to China said, “The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed.”

We are all missionaries. Throughout Scripture Christ’s followers are called sojourners, pilgrims and strangers in a strange land. We do not belong and have been sent out only to spread God’s glory through evangelism and missions. We are missionaries in our own home, in our town, in our schools, at our jobs, across the street and around the world. The Prince of preachers, Charles Spurgeon, left little room for debate when he said, “Every Christian is either a missionary or an impostor.”

Why Here?

God’s mission is to grow and expand his kingdom throughout the world, which means in your hometown and around the world.  This is not a physical kingdom, but a spiritual one that is reclaiming souls from the gates of hell. Missions is God’s victory march towards his eternal triumph, and the battle is being waged wherever God has placed his followers.

We are told that God will give us resources and ability and we are to use them to expand his kingdom to every point on the globe. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

Winkie Pratney, New Zealand evangelist and author, says, “Every Christian a missionary; every non-Christian a mission-field.” Missions is not something that a select few are called to do. Every Christian is called to share God’s love and mercy wherever God has placed us. The call to missions has more to do with the condition of our heart than it does with the location of our feet.

Go Therefore

In his book, The Missionary Call, David Sills said, “If someone does not have a missions heart at home, nothing magical happens when they buckle the seat belt on the airplane.” Missions does not only occur on foreign soil. You do not need a passport to be considered a missionary. What you need is obedience.

As followers of Christ our lives were never intended to seek our own comfort, joy and entertainment. We are all missionaries and every Christian is called to share the love of Christ. Some of us are called to go far away and others are called to stay local, but we are all called to participate.

Mike Pettengill is a full-time missionary serving with Mission to the World (MTW) in La Ceiba, Honduras since 2007. Mike is a team leader of a 12-person mission team. To learn more about the Pettengill’s work in Honduras visit Pettengill Missionaries.