What Exactly is Missions?

Street facade in the city with overay "What Exactly is Missions"
My idea of missions has drastically changed since my first short term missions trip when I was 12.  It was when I originally felt that longing in my heart to be a "missionary", to live in a different culture and help people.

My 12-year-old idea of missions was flawed but the call to obedience was there and, even though I took the scenic route, here I am now with 14 years behind me living overseas as a missionary. 

My 10th-grade students presented me with a confronting question this year. They asked me, "Why would you want to live here?" "What is a missionary?" As I tried to convey my reasoning, my calling, I realized that it is really hard to say missions is just one thing.

Biblically, we know that Paul was the first missionary. Missionary- one who is sent out. He spent the majority of his post-conversion life, traveling to different places, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.   You can read about these trips in Luke and Acts.

In its simplicity missions is sharing with people, in another culture, the testimony of your life that gives glory to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

It was still hard for my students to understand why in the world I would choose to live in a country where they don't even want to be. It boils down to one thing....obedience. Obeying what God has instructed my family and me to do; His will, not ours.

So, what do we do? We don't live in some village in the middle of nowhere. Eventhough there are some missionaries who do.  Each and every missionary has a different calling and gifting. We live in a small town where we work with the pre-teens, youth, and young adults in an already established church.  I also work as a high-school teacher which I have always said is my greatest mission field.
Girl holding a sign in the park.
I have a lot of friends who are missionaries all over the world. I asked some of them, "If you could summarize in one sentence what the term missions means to you, what would you say?"   Each reply I received I reflected on and thought "yeah...that's missions." 

Here are what some of my friends said.

Missions is the heart of God, so that all mankind may come to know Christ, glorify God and have the opportunity to live abundantly in the richness of God's grace.

Missions is reaching everyone, everywhere, by any means.

Missions is life-changing, vitalizing and best way of life! Don't regret it at all!

Missions is Jesus' heart cry to the nations.

Missions isn’t about calling, it’s about obedience.

Missions is the result of following Jesus. 

Missions is committing to the Great Commission as a priority and a lifestyle.

Missions is...I get to experience the love of Jesus by sharing it with others and also by experiencing His love through them.

Missions is sacrificial obedience for the love of those who don't know the sacrifice of the cross.

Missions is the desire to serve God to reach souls wherever it is that He sends us.

Missions is laying down your life (expectations, desires, etc.) for the call/will of God.

Missions is faith and sacrifice. 

Missions is obedience. 

Missions is being faithful to what God has called you to and trusting him with the results.

Missions to me is to love and serve, listening and learning from others rather than forcing my cultural perspective and ideologies seeing what I can learn from others. 

Missions is leaving my comfort, family, and home for a brief time on earth so that others can be with theirs in eternity.

In conclusion, I will end with what missions is to me. Missions is a selfless lifestyle that requires you to create relationships with people, so that your life can testify and point them to Jesus. 

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:27 AM CST

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