Jesus very clearly sent his disciples out to spread the gospel and establish his church in all the earth. And they responded! Within decades the Good News had spread to the known world.
Does he intend for all of us, his current day disciples, to go to the foreign mission field, or join some mission here in America? We believe the answer is ‘yes’ … and ‘no’!
Our understanding of the Christian life is that we are those who ‘… are not our own; we were bought at a price.’ (1 Cor 6:20) Our lives belong to Jesus and it is our honor to have him direct them where he will. For some of us that may mean being uprooted and sent out to a new place to serve him as a ‘missionary’.
However, the call to a missionary lifestyle is not confined to those serving in ‘missions’. All of us are called to live not for ourselves, but for Jesus. He has prepared us and deployed us through every sphere of society to be ambassadors of his Kingdom – in our homes, offices, schools, businesses, neighborhoods … everywhere. Christianity isn’t divided into the active and the observers. All of us have the great privilege of being partners with Jesus in his rescue mission to the world, seeing people redeemed and the structures of society transformed.
As Paul asks in 2 Cor 2:16, ‘who is equal to such a task?’ We know that we cannot live such a radical vision of Christian life and service by our own strength. By his Spirit, God draws our hearts into mission and empowers us to serve.
So, if his call is to ‘go’, then go. But even if his call is to ‘stay’, we are still his missionaries in all the circumstances of our lives, bringing the aroma of Christ wherever we go.