When speaking to someone about “missions”, I often hear him or her say something like this, “Well, you know, I’m not called to that.” This might even be a conversation regarding the Great Commission. Others wonder out loud about what God has called them to do: “How do I know that God has called me?” I love these conversations because it gives me a chance to challenge the popular thought that the Great Commission or “foreign missions” is someone else’s job.
So, check this out: We have been called. 1 Peter 2:9 reminds us that we have been called: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (Italics mine) You, me and every other Christ-follower HAVE BEEN CALLED, so quit listening for it!
Furthermore, we have already been commanded. Huh? Yep! Commanded! To do what? To make disciples! But it doesn’t end there. Our disciple making should not be limited to our own household, neighborhood or county. The object of the verb “make disciples” is all nations (or people group). Hey, I’m not making this up! Check it out for yourself – Matthew 28:18-20. Simply put, we are to make disciples, as we live our lives that impact the world! Hudson Taylor, a missionary who pioneered work in inland China and founded the missions agency that would come to be called OMF, said, “The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed.”
Finally, comes the calling. We often get the command confused with the calling. The calling is how we “flesh out” how we are going to make disciples that impact the world – how to most effectively fulfill the command. This can change from season to season and involves any of the following: Going on short-term missions experience, working in a secular job in order to be around people we can disciple, living in a different culture and making disciples in that context, being a stay-at-home mom or dad and pouring yourself into your children and others and any other variety of ways. We must ask the question, “How can I best follow Christ’s example of investing my one and only life in the lives of others in the process of making disciples that impact all nations?” and not buy into the false idea that this is someone else’s job.
Working backwards, we should pursue the CALLING (that is how we can best make disciples that impact the world in this season of life) in light of the COMMAND we have been all been given (refer to the mandate given in Matthew 28) because He has CALLED us from darkness into light!
Now, go have a blast! You’ll never regret being obedient to what God has called you (and me) to do! Here is a good website to cruise through: http://www.themissionarycall.com. Granted, Dr. David Sills uses the word “call” where I use the word “calling.” Don’t be confused – we’re saying the same thing. God’s heart beats for the world – shouldn’t ours beat for the same thing that His beats for? I guess it is just semantics, but the bottom line is we are all to play a role in fulfilling the command to make disciples of all nations.
I’d love to help you “flesh that out” too, so give me a call or drop me an email.
Yours for the world,