4 Ways You can be a Missionary Now
4 ways you can be a missionary right now
One of the pervasive misconceptions in the Christian world is a simple one: “I can’t be a missionary or do ministry because I’m just a __________.” It’s not something we promote, or even say out loud, but it sits under the surface sidelining many of us out kingdom work.
But there’s good news!
The mission of God is not given to those who are paid to minister. Most of us who do “ministry” as a job are actually called to train and equip believers FOR ministry. The commission is given to all who follow Jesus. And there’s more good news. Living as a missionary is something you can do right where you are, whenever you are whoever you are. The only prerequisite is being a follower of Jesus. Here are 4 simple ways you can follow the great commission no matter what your gifting or circumstance.
1. Ask God for opportunities
I’ll never forget my youth pastor saying these words in youth group when I was in high school: “There’s one prayer God will always answer with ‘yes.’ Give me an opportunity to show someone your love.” First Timothy says that God desires that all should be saved. Romans tells us that he has established us, you and I, to be his body working in the world. We have the privilege of participating with him in the work of the kingdom. If we ask for the opportunity to share the love of Christ he will absolutely provide it.
2. Slow down and listen
There are people all aground you, all the time. Coworkers, kids friends, mom at the park, cashiers at Wal Mart. They’re everywhere. Most of us find ourselves naturally in conversation on a regular basis with people who don’t know Jesus. Scripture makes it clear that everyone is searching for meaning and that Christ is “in all and through all.” The person bagging your groceries needs Jesus and Jesus is near to them calling them to himself. Next time you’re in a casual conversation slow down and listen to what’s being said. When your coworker causally jokes that they’re “tired of the same grind” or your waitress at the diner mentions that she’s “good, but tired from pulling another double shift” you’ll notice the shadows of kingdom between the lines. The longing for the kingdom of God is in everyone. As we ask God for opportunities we slow down to look for them. If you’;; slow down and listen you might find the opportunity to ask “what is it that you dream of doing with your life?” or “that must be exhausting, can I pray for you?” One the secrets of every missionary is that most “big Jesus moments” start as simply as that.
3. Use what you have, where you are, with those you can reach
The global nature of our world is a wonderful thing. It means you can reach someone in another state, country, or culture with nothing more than Instagram. It also means we can see all the needs in the world and become overwhelmed with the great need. Andy Stanley, a pastor and author in Atlanta, says to “do for one what you wish you could do for one thousand.” The beautiful truth of the great commission is that it’s mostly accomplished by normal people with normal resources. You might not have a deep bank account, but you might have a spare bedroom. You might have a free evening you invite someone to dinner. You might have a job connection to someone who needs work. Whatever it is you have is all that you are required to use. Partnered with the Holy Spirit, a little and much both go a long way.
4. Embrace the small things
All of these things are simple and small. The secret is that these are the things missionaries do in India and in Indiana. We don’t need to be Billy Graham. We just need to be willing to minister. You might get it wrong. You might pray for someone and they think it’s weird. You might share Jesus and meet needs for someone for years with no real fruit. That’s okay. God is just as present in the small, everyday mission as he is in the missions that make headlines and tear-jerking testimonies. Embrace that you are pursuing the mission of God and living out the kingdom by taking advantage of the opportunities you have been given. Your ministry is essential to the mission.
If you read this and it sparks something in your heart that says “I want to see the great commission filled. I want to learn how to share the gospel in every arena or with any gifting” then a YWAM DTS might be the next step for you. At YWAM Asheville we believe that ordinary people are the key to the great commission. A Discipleship Training School is a 5 month school where students commit to knowing God in order to make him known. It’s a training for ordinary people who want to see God do the extraordinary in their lives and in the world. If you want to be equipped to use your unique gifting as a tool for the kingdom apply today.