What does that even mean?
Who should be involved in missions?
How can I be a a part of mission work?
And why should I want to?
I think the word means a lot of things to a lot of people. But Jesus made it clear what we’re supposed to be doing. (Matthew 28:19)
All of us. Not just a chosen few.
The why and when of being involved in missions are the same for every believer.
But the how and where are different for each individual.
Growing up in church, I heard a lot about being “fishers of men” and of course, there were the Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong offerings, but I really never understood where these dollars went or why.
I mean, I knew about missionaries, but I guess I thought they were these over-the-top kind of Christians who went to far away places and were way more committed than anyone I knew and maybe even a little weird.
It would be many years before I would realize that we can never be too “over-the-top” in telling others about Jesus.
His sacrifice on the cross was as over-the-top as it gets.
And I miss the mark a lot of the time. I let so many opportunities to share His love just pass me by.
Sometimes I don’t even realize it until later. Other times, I am all too aware, but just too chicken to say what needs to be said.
All I can do is to pray that I will recognize the chances He sends, and that I will have the boldness to open my mouth and speak words of life and hope.
Why Get Involved With Missions?
Because Jesus said to! He commands us to reach others with the message of hope and salvation.
The price He paid for our salvation was steep. He gave His life for us. This is too good to keep to ourselves!
As believers, we are God’s plan for reaching a lost and dying world. If we don’t tell them, how will they hear?
Romans 10:14 NLT
“But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him?
And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him?
And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?”
It isn’t a lot to ask when I think of all He has done for me!
I pray for a heart that has compassion for the lost. A heart that feels the terror of knowing that Hell is real and that lost people will go there when they die.
I used to tell myself that if people had not heard and had a chance to decide, they would be okay. That no one who had never heard of Jesus would go to Hell. So why tell them and take a chance?
I now know that this line of thinking is a lie from Satan to lull us into complacency. JESUS is the ONLY way to Heaven. If you are not a follower of Jesus, you are not going to Heaven.
Whether you have heard the Good News or not.
Once I realized this, I was mad at God. “It’s not fair”, I said. How can people go to Hell who never had the opportunity to become followers of Jesus?
But the more I studied and prayed, I realized that if it was about fairness, none of us would be saved.
God made a way for the price to be paid for our salvation. It is up to us, the Church, to spread the word to a lost and dying world.
God planned it all. WE ARE HIS PLAN FOR REACHING THE WORLD!
It is not His will for anyone to die and go to Hell. If they do, it’s because they either rejected the message, or they never heard it.
If they reject it, that’s on them.
If they never heard it, it’s because we, the Church never reached them with the Gospel.
This is the “WHY”.
Where To Get Involved With Missions?
Wherever God places you.
Wherever He leads.
Look for opportunities all around you . They are there.
God puts people in our paths for a reason.
We should live as salt and light in a tasteless and dark world. When we see someone who needs a savior, we need to be ready to tell them about Jesus. (1 Peter 3:15)
And when God opens doors for us to step out of our comfort zone and into the life of someone who needs Him, we need to be ready to walk through.
Even if it means going to another country. Or a homeless shelter. Or a prison. Or just across the street.
That is the WHERE.
When To Get Involved With Missions?
That’s easy. NOW.
Now is the time. We are not promised tomorrow.
Neither are the lost and dying of the world.
Today is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)
Tomorrow may never come. There may never be another chance.
The WHEN is NOW!
How To Get Involved With Missions?
Or all of the above.
Each of us has a part to play in accomplishing God’s purpose.
How cool is that that the GOD OF THE UNIVERSE has a part for YOU specifically to play?
(For more on finding your purpose, click HERE.)
- He created us all with unique gifts, skills and talents. We are to use them to build His kingdom.
- Our time and money can also be used to bring others to Him.
Today, our church is having a BBQ sale to raise money for an upcoming international mission trip.
Around 25 people are going on the trip. But every person who helps with the BBQ is just as much a part of this mission as the ones who will actually put their feet on foreign soil.
The day I left to go on my first mission trip, someone left $1000 on the seat of my car, with an anonymous note that it was for the trip. They could not have known the needs that would arise that these funds were able to meet.
But God knew. They acted in obedience, and God used their contribution to meet needs that we didn’t even know about until we got there.
Last year, my brother and sister-in-law donated wood for us to make projects to sell to fund the mission trip. By doing that, they helped make it possible for us to share the Gospel.
We are not all called to go to another country. But we are all called to missions.
There are all kinds of ways to get involved.
- Use you testimony every chance you get. Tell others where you have been and how God brought you to where you are now. Testimonies are powerful.
Build relationships with people so that they know you care. You may not get the chance to share the Gospel immediately. But if they know you care about them, they will be more likely to listen when the time comes.
Any way God leads.
This is the HOW to get involved with missions.
Living Life As One Big Mission
My mom says that when I was a kid, she thought I might grow up to be a missionary. But through some bad choices and some things that led me away from the Lord for a time, it didn’t happen.
Looking back, I regret the wasted time, but I thank God that He gives us second chances.
Three years ago, I had the privilege to go on my first international mission trip and it was a game changer. It really helped me get things in perspective and made me more bold about my faith here at home.
Here’s a Facebook post from that particular trip. (I have been blessed to be able to return every year since, and plan to go for a fourth time in July.)
“As we begin our last day in Chinandega, it’s hard to believe we will leave for Managua tomorrow, then home on Thursday. Serving The Lord with these precious brothers and sisters in Christ has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. I have learned so much from them and made some wonderful new friends. Although I am excited to go home and see my family, I know I will leave a part of my heart in Nicaragua.”
If you’d like to read more about missions in Nicaragua, you can read more here in On Mission In Nicaragua.
Eternal relationships with people I may not see again this side of Heaven. Precious times together, when I glimpse what it will be like to worship around the Throne of God with people of every tribe and tongue.
A little peek at Heaven.
I remember when we made it back to Managua, and the comforts of the city. The soft bed and cool air.
Just knowing that my new friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ lived on in poverty. In block houses with dirt floors.
And that they were praying for me.
And serving the Lord and sharing the Gospel so boldly, blooming where they have been planted.
What excuse do I have for not sharing at every opportunity? None.
The Church is the Church. Whether in plenty or poverty. Peace or persecution.
We are one body. Working toward the ultimate goal of knowing Him and making Him known.
Is there anything else that could ever matter more?
I want my life to count for something bigger than me.
So many people in the world have never heard the Gospel. Some have never even heart the Name of Jesus.
And many who have don’t know Who He is.
Even here in the Bible Belt, so many don’t grasp Grace and what it means for them.
And so I pray for opportunities right here at home.
Our church recently sponsored a free yard sale for people in the community in need. This was headed up by some of our senior citizens, one of whom I served with on my first foreign mission trip, when she was already in her 80’s!
Again, what excuse do I have? None!
You don’t have to travel to another country, or even another city to be a missionary. Short-term mission trips are just a tiny portion of what mission oriented living should look like.
The heart of missions is opening our eyes and hearts to see needs, helping to meet these needs, and telling others what they need to know to fill their ultimate need of a Savior.
Will I still go on foreign mission trips? For as long as God allows it, I sure will.
But missions is about so much more than a one-week trip. Missions should be an integral part of our day-to-day lives.
We have the WHY, WHERE, WHEN and HOW.
Let’s get at it!