“Some are missionaries, some are moochinaries, some are vacationaries, and some are stationaries.”
David Livingstone, William Carey, Adoniram Judson, C.T. Studd, William Grenfell, Hudson Taylor, John Paton, Jim Elliott, George Muller…the list could go on and on. We could cite the names of Christian men whom God used in the past to bring His word to people ignorant of His love. We admire how God performed miracles to open the eyes of the sinners through the lives of these men yet they lived in the years gone. Yes, there are still Godly men who yield themselves to God’s calling to step out from beyond their comfort zones, share the Truth and start churches, and I could name a few of them. Oh, but a few! Hardly have I heard of Christian young men who are ready and willing to be of service to the King in becoming a missionary. Perhaps God has already given many of them the burden for sharing the Word in a strange land. But why do we see and hear of only a few?
Is it because in their childhood they were not introduced to the fact that there are people who do not know of God’s saving grace? Yes, men like Adoniram Judson and David Livingstone knew when they were but little boys that they would become missionaries. However, George Muller never had an interest in missions when he was young and much less in God, but after he believed that Christ’s sufficient work on Calvary was enough to save him from his sins, he became burdened for people who knew nothing of what he believed, and he prayed that God would use him as a missionary. Well, he hardly set foot on some heathen land, but God called him to work with the orphan children of Bristol’s streets, thus giving them an opportunity to know of God’s love.
Is it because they do not feel capable enough to start the work on their own? In our AVPI class Biblical Missions, we learnt that God calls and enables them to the ministry. Perhaps the feeling of not being capable enough to do it is another side of being too comfortable in our present situation. When God calls them, He sees them as ready to do His business. As for being on their own, Apostle Paul, on his first missionary journey, called a friend to accompany him, but on his later journeys, he travelled alone. Well, not alone; God was with him. So you see, God calls, He enables, and He is with them every step of the way for His Spirit indwells every believer.
Is it because they need to be affiliated with a certain church, Bible college, or even with the government? Well, the Bible gives no particular instruction on starting mission churches. The important things that a Christian man, called to become a missionary, is supposed to know: 1) the rule of the church, and 2) the ruin of the church. To rule a church is not to exercise lordship over the members; to rule is to feed, guide, and sometimes, rebuke the flock God has appointed them to. There are also strict guidelines for men who are to rule God’s people, as it is said in I Timothy 3, some of which are: they are to be blameless, the husband of one wife, sober, apt to teach, one that ruleth well his own house, etc. As for the ruin of the church, they need to know of apostasy of the church, the apostate people, and corruption in the church and what a believer must do, so that they will be guarded from the deceiving wiles of the devil.
Whatever the reasons may be, if God is leading certain Christian men to go and serve him, remember: there is no better place to be than in the center of His will. We need to be praying for those men whose hearts God touched. For those who know that the Lord has called them but still hesitant on how to do it, pray that they would begin preparing themselves for the ministry, and for those already serving Him at home and abroad, pray that God will mightily use them for the glory of His name.
For all of us Christians, our mission field does not have to be on foreign soil; when we exit our door, there lies the mission field. You might be a young person, but God can use you. You may think you’ve become too old, but it’s never too late for you to serve God. You might reason that you’re uneducated, but the Lord will enable you for the task. And you might think it’s necessary to be supported by the government, church, or school; well, why don’t you give God the opportunity to show his greatness by provision? You see, there is no reason whatsoever for any Christian to shirk from what God wants us to do. We all are given the word of reconciliation, and to be given that means that we are entrusted in the ministry of reconciliation. In other words, it is our duty as ambassadors for Christ to plead with the unbelieving sinners to be reconciled to God. We all need to plead with them in Christ’s stead. That is the Great Commission of an ambassador for Christ.