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This question comes up every time people hear about the challenges of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with those who have never heard it.

 

In one sense, every Christian is called to obey the command which Jesus gave to all disciples before He went back to the Father:

 

Then Jesus came up and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
~ Matthew 28:18-20 NET Bible

 

This command was not given to a select few only, or only to those who have an interest in missions. It's a basic instruction for every follower of Christ.

But there are many different ways in which believers are called to fulfil this commandment.

Go-ers, Pray-ers, Senders, Mobilizers

Some have a clear sense of calling to go, whether overseas or staying where they are, to reach out with the good news of Jesus to those who have not heard or not responded to the message.

Some have an equally clear calling and gifting to pray for those who go. Without prayer, the person who goes is unlikely to see any results. Transforming lives and communities is something only God can do, which is why prayer is so crucial.

Some have been blessed with the resources to be able to send people out into the harvest field. They can support financially, not only workers, but possibly also projects, and find the fulfilment of their calling in empowering others. They are partners in the work, and Paul's letters in the New Testament give us numerous examples of the crucial role these partners played in the spread of the gospel.

Others are mobilizers. This group is the least understood, yet today the most needful. The natural tendency of many is to get so busy with our daily lives and our career that we forget about the needs of the millions of poor and unreached peoples on our planet. Mobilizers find ways to remind fellow believers of the needs out there and they show the church how it can be involved in meeting those needs. They network, educate, train and exhort believers to obey the command given by Jesus in Matthew 28.

 

How do you know which role is for you?

Pray: Ask the Lord to show you. Read His word and allow Him to speak to you. Listen to what God may be saying to you through the ministry of others: pastors, teachers, fellow small group or Bible study members. Learn about various types of missions work and about the challenges involved. Read the letters of missionaries and tentmakers you know. Read missionary biographies. Through all these means, God will speak to you. He is not so much concerned about your ability or the lack of it, but much more interested in your availability.

 

Say to Him: Lord, here am I, send me, or use me. He will not fail to answer.

 

This process of discovery is a journey. In very rare cases it can be an emotion-charged crisis moment in which God's will is revealed to you as in a flash. But emotions are dangerous guides. A long-term commitment depends mainly on our will. Jesus warned of the need to count the cost before we undertake anything. Are we willing to pay the price?

The PTM for Missions and the Missions Committee are ready to help you along this journey and have some resources available for you.

For more background information on what a missionary really is and the importance of a clear call, see also: