By Not Known
God’s mission is done through people. There are those who stay where they are to sacrificially pay, pray, promote and publicise. Then there are those who go.
This going may be a sacrificial leaving of what the world calls ‘prospects’ and serving in some kind of full time missionary service in the home country. We have two examples of that in our congregation. Others will ‘go’ in the sense of leaving kith, kin, culture and comforts for varying periods of time.
What kind of people are called to ‘go’? Overwhelmingly they are ordinary people. Think of the 12 apostles who were rather average men. Listen to Paul’s word: Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. (1 Cor 1:26-27). Think also of his reference to people like himself who were hard pressed, perplexed and persecuted (2 Cor 4:7-8).
Think also about some of these people used by God in his mission:
- A domestic helper serving a powerful family in a foreign land
- A church deacon taking a surprising opportunity to witness
- A new graduate giving up party and holiday time for a short term trip
- A professional person using their annual leave and their own money to serve short term with specialised skills
- A farmer leaving his farm to a manager and going to serve a remote indigenous people
- A widow making her first trip abroad to settle and serve in a poor country
- An early retiree being a self-funded missionary using pre-retirement skills in a difficult environment
- A promising scholar going to an arduous field, forgoing career, disappointing his family and facing an early death
- A mid-career person walking away from their pension to be a missionary
- An 85 year old going to a stubbornly hard people in Jesus’ name.
Perhaps we excuse ourselves from a lack of missionary skills? Read 1 Corinthians 12. All kinds of skills are needed and can be used. Further, we can all readily learn new skills to be of greater use.
Get the point? All manner and kinds of persons can be used on the mission field. We often speak as though missions are an ‘opt-in’ activity? Maybe it should be the reverse and we should ask ourselves: why am I not serving in missions? Most of us are not called to go. Some of us are. Are we listening? Are we available: Lord, here am I, send me (Is 6:8).