In many churches, there are believers that get the idea that Christians and Missionaries can be two different things. There is a belief that all Missionaries are Christians…but not all Christians are Missionaries.
This could not be further from the truth.
When we look at what Christians are called to and what Missionaries are called to, we see that they are the exact same thing.
“Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them [into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age.Amen (so let it be).”
-Matthew 28:19-20 (AMP)
In Matthew we see that Jesus calls his followers [Christians] to go into the nations, baptizing and teaching them to observe what Christ has commanded. Or, in short, we are to go and teach the world about the redemptive story of the life of Jesus’ Christ and invite them into the kingdom.
Ironically, this is the SAME goal for a Missionary. In fact, here’s the Miriam-Webster dictionary definition:
a person who is sent to a foreign country to do religious work (such as to convince people to join a religion or to help people who are sick, poor, etc.)
Now, the goal of a Christian isn’t to get someone to join a religion, but to re-join with the creator of all things.
However, as you can see, being a Christian and being a Missionary are not separate identities.
Missionaries are not “Super-Christians” or Theologians with degrees in advanced biblical studies. In fact, the first disciples were fishermen, tax collectors and even a former Pharisee (Paul).
Missionaries are those who have had their lives radically changed by the power of Christ and who desire to share the good news with everyone they come in contact with.
Does this mean that all Christians need to go to Africa or China etc.?
Here’s what Jesus said once more:
“But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.” -Acts 1:8 (AMP)
Jesus tells his disciples that they will be witnesses in Jerusalem [home], Judea [neighbors], and Samaria [those they despised] and to the ends of the earth [the gentiles].
What Jesus states, is that his witnesses will testify to the transforming power of His everlasting love….wherever they go.
Once you say “I do” to Jesus’ proposal on the cross, you are agreeing to a life of mission work.
Let’s not model after the world where 22 people play on the field while 80,000 watch on the sidelines.
ALL Christians are Missionaries.