The Church seems to increasingly be coming to realize that every member of the Body of Christ is a missionary. We are all called to a lifestyle of surrender, giving our all for the fame of Jesus and for the advancement of His Kingdom in our world. We are all influencers, all spokespersons and all dedicated to bringing God maximum glory. Further, we do so no matter the sacrifice.
Sometimes we really over-complicate what it means to be a missionary though.
I’ve often found myself comparing myself to other leaders, or worse yet to my “dream self.” That has always resulted in me feeling like I am not doing enough to be engaged in fulfilling the Great Commission. I think that is because I was putting unnecessary expectations on myself though for what it means to serve God and live on mission. I know many others do this all the time too, especially those of us who have been in the Church for a long time and who have felt a pressure to perfect the art of intentional, generous living.
The truth is though, life as a missionary Christian is pretty dang simple. It rarely feels super special, and that is even at some times when it should by all accounts look very adventurous, daring and rewarding. It is rewarding, but it also can feel very normal. This is because it is normal, at least if we are truly weaving Christ’s mission into every part of our humble lives.
Living as a missionary is merely living conscious of the fact that God want to use you to impact others’ hearts with His love, His Gospel, and His justice, and finding ways day after day to express His Spirit’s desire.
Most of these are small ways.
Most of these are not very noticeable ways.
Most of these are not worth broadcasting on Instagram.
Mostly it just means making the choice to hope for change, to invest in change, to start conversations, to engage in long processes, and to do it all over again repetitively in a setting that feels very average. For most of us this is not overseas in a foreign land either, but even when it is it usually loses its novelty quickly and starts to feel just as routine as if it were back home.
Even more challenging is the fact that many of the ways God uses us are not something we can even fit neatly into a “ministry update newsletter” in order to tell other people about our meaningful accomplishments. They are, however, important moments in our lives and in the lives of those we are serving. They are well worth celebrating, even when that means we only get to talk to God or a few friends about what happened.
We are consistently being called to embrace the here and now, the hidden places, the unfinished, the not-so-flashy, the regular assignments that we are working on fulfilling in this season of life. We fight against apathy and mediocrity to be sure, but we embrace the dream, the mission, and the call to courage even when it is usually difficult to measure our success on the size of scale that we would like to use.
Meanwhile, our collective energies cause history to change its course and we hasten the Day of the Lord’s return.