This is my first ever blog post, and since this is a blog about missions, I wanted to begin by defining what missions is. I’m sure I will continue to add other aspects of missions in my future posts, but let me begin right here.
There are many ways that pastors, teachers & even missionaries will define what missions is. But I don’t think it should be that complicated. It is strange that we all have tendencies to make things more complicated than they really are. For example, we may use the word exegesis in our preaching & teaching, but all it means is we are trying to understand the biblical passage in its original context with its original audience in mind, so what the text meant for the Israelites, the disciples of Christ, the Corinthian Christians, etc. Because without that process, we will apply the passage directly to our own modern context losing valuable insight & information that can bring light to the passage. And once we understand what it meant for the original hearers of God’s Word, then we can bridge the gap between this ancient writing and our own life now, which by the way is hermeneutics. My point is that we don’t have to throw around words like exegesis or hermeneutics to help people understand what the Word of God means to them. Jesus went to the so-called sinners, uneducated & rejected, and instead of using theological terms, He used parables, simple stories to explain the truth about God’s kingdom that will set them free. What I envision is the Son of God explaining things so simply that everyone walked away from His teaching not feeling dumb, inadequate or condemned, but enlightened, being filled with excitement & joy that come when the eyes of our hearts are opened for the first time.
I believe the same applies to missions. Missions is simply sharing Jesus Christ with those who do not know Him because apart from Him there is no forgiveness & life. We are to share Christ with our lives, our loving actions & of course through our truthful & caring speech. If we have not shared Christ somehow & in some way, we haven’t done missions. I realize that it is a process that takes time, but still Christ, the Living Water has to be shared for without Him everything in life becomes meaningless.
The truth is, sharing Christ is God’s call for all Christians not only for missionaries. The only difference is where you are to go to share Him. If you are sharing Christ in countries that are not your own, it’s called missions, but if you are sharing Christ where you are, then it’s evangelism. As missionaries to foreigners, family & friends, we are to share Christ & His message of love. So it is a process in which we are giving. But it’s funny that what is so simple does get complicated because we all have tendencies to want to gain something for ourselves. Our motives are not always pure, even in missions. I have known a missionary who was on the mission field because he had no place to go after seminary, and it was clear that he didn’t want to be there. I have also known missionaries who are fueled by their own ambition to make a name for themselves. Well, Jesus never did that. 2 Corinthians 8:9 explains, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” Jesus gave up everything to share the Good News with us, so that we may have life eternal, and He was willing to give all, even His life on the cross.
Observing Jesus we can begin to understand that when we share Christ, we are in fact sharing our lives, our resources, our time & even our vulnerability. Although our worldly comfort & security may diminish in the process of sharing our Savior, Jesus’ supply of love, joy & peace will never run dry from our hearts.
Let me end with lines from the song Hungry by Kathryn Scott.
Hungry I come to You for I know You satisfy
I am empty but I know Your love does not run dry…