As I worked as a missionary overseas a couple of years ago there were many things that perplexed me. I went with a phenomenal organization. They are very clear in their purpose; and to the best of their ability, from what I see, they carry out their mission. Ironically enough, I align completely with their mission. I say ironically because I didn’t search them out; the opportunity literally fell in my lap!
But, while I was overseas I encountered a few people that were not clear in their purpose as “missionaries”; but without being clear; they were very clear that they were not proclaiming the name of Christ. (see how confusing that sentence reads…that is just the point!!!!) In Romans Paul calls himself an apostle. An apostle has the joyful duty and responsibility of a clear message.
At one time I was very angry about the fact that these people were able to raise thousands of dollars to spend time overseas on their own agenda. I wasn’t as angry about the money; rather the false message, or lack there of that was going out. I think part of it is righteous anger; part of my anger isn’t rooted in the love of Christ. I hope the Lord continues to rid me of that sin!
None the less I am thankful for my interaction with them. It was really a building block for the foundations of the theology and philosophy I stand behind today.
My time overseas and my interactions with a few of these people came to my mind this morning as I am finishing my application to go overseas again. I am applying to be a part of a team from the church I attend. They are going to Ethiopia at the end of the summer for 2 weeks. I am very excited that this possibility may be in my future! One of the questions on the application states: “What do you believe is the biblical purpose/goal of global “missions”?” As I finished the questions I realiezed how simple of an idea this is. It’s not confusing and it’s nothing hidden. In fact; scripture states the gospel is a mystery that has been reveled to us as believers! Therefore…we simply reveal that message to others. No confusion! It is sad that we make it confusing…myself included. May God’s grace pour out on us! Here was my answer. I pray this stirs in your heart what God has done in your life; but also the great, joyful duty we have as followers of Christ!
“I believe followers of Christ have been given grace to receive reconciliation back to God through Christ when deserved justice and eternal separation. With that, we joyfully carry a responsibility as an apostle; a messenger with information the rest of humanity longs to hear. Within this message we have the responsibility to expose the message of God through the story of Christ; bringing about an opportunity for the Lord to draw people to himself and bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of HIS name among all nations. (Romans 1:5) In this Jesus said that as we live out a life as an apostle we are to make disciples; asking people to submit to the authority of Christ, continually encouraging them to grow in the likeness of Christ; progressive sanctification (Matthew 28:19-20). As a follower of Christ we have the Holy Spirit of God that charges us to be the witness of God in all areas of the world, locally and expanding to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). In summary, the story of Christ (the gospel) is a mystery that has been revealed to followers of Christ. It is God’s will that this story go to all nations so that all who are obedient because of their faith will be saved. (Romans 16:26).”