How Many Missionaries Have You

A pastor was asked, “How many missionaries does your church have?”

He replied, “Fifteen hundred.”

The questioner was amazed. “Where are they?” The reply was something like the coffee shop, a law firm, and so on. It led him to map where his congregation’s members worked and lived.

I don’t know if he included outreach missionaries scattered around the nation and world. But his point was, if you are a Jesus-follower, then you are a missionary. “And you will be my witnesses …to the ends of the earth.”

It used to be, and many may still live this way, that we hire a pastor and he (in the old days, always “he”) does the work of the church. The members come on Sunday to hear the choir and pastor give a performance. Then they leave to go to their jobs and homes.

I guess I know many of those people even today.

But Jesus never talked about a special class of people to do his work. He had a core group of disciples we call apostles. They were to make disciples, with the expectation that those disciples would make disciples, and over again.

And he said we would be witnesses. That means we must experience something. And then we tell others about our experience. We don’t go around talking theory. That’s OK in its place. But that’s not the point. The point really is telling people, “This is what I’ve experienced in my life, and you could experience this, too.”

So, after we have experienced God’s blessings, then we are called to be missionaries. It may be in the home, where we work, within the church to seekers who come in, or maybe to the ends of the earth. It all counts.

We do have to take care that we are not all talk. Unlike being a witness in a court case, being a witness to the power of Jesus in our lives means that people can see the whole life. That how we behave is congruent with what we say.

Go, and be a missionary.

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