If anyone ever asks me what I want to be when I grow up, or they ask me what I want to do, or what I am interested in, I always reply that I want to be a missionary.
Usually when I tell people this, they either think that it’s really cool, or they dive into a bunch of questions and/or statements:
“Where do you want to go?”
“What if God’s not calling you to be a missionary?”
“You know, we need missionaries right here too,”
“I like to think that God brings the mission field to me through my job.” (my personal favorite)
While all of these questions and statements are legitimate and true, they can all become very annoying. I am going to answer all of these questions right now.
As for where I want to go: I truly don’t know. I want to go wherever God calls me. That brings us to our next question about God’s calling: I know that God is calling me to do mission work because I have felt His calling and seen it evidently throughout my life. As for missionaries needed right here: of course they are needed. My question is: “What are you doing about it? Are you really using your job as a mission field for you?” The very definition of missionary is this: “a person sent on a religious mission, especially one sent to promote Christianity in a foreign country.”(Oxford English dictionary) According to this definition, I can’t be a missionary here, because here is not a foreign country or culture to me.
There is a difference between a disciple-maker and a missionary. Ramon Lull puts it best: “Missionaries are a subset of disciple-makers who make disciples in foreign places particularly among people groups who do not have self-sustaining churches.” This is what I want to do with my life. I want to go to the unreached people groups and I want to give them hope where there is none. I want to offer Jesus to people who have never before heard His name. Why do I want to do this? Because my heart breaks for the people who don’t know Jesus. I have spent many a night crying and many a day in sober thought because of my dearest friends and family who don’t know the Lord. Sometimes they have simply rejected the Lord, even if they are already aware of Christianity.
But guys, there are others who don’t believe because NO ONE HAS EVER TOLD THEM. That is NOT OKAY. Everyone deserves the chance to hear the gospel and what I want to do mot desperately is to be someone who tells them. I know I can’t save anyone’s soul; only the Holy Spirit can do that. What I can do, though, is to be that person who, by the grace of God, will stand up and say, “Do you know that there is a God who loves you?” Everyone needs to hear that, and that’s why I want to be a missionary.