One of my favourite blogger’s is Dave Black and to use a worldly term: I believe we have a kindred spirit. 🙂 Dave is a teacher and author as well as having a deep passion and concern for missions. Take what he has written here.
Incidentally, with all mission work, the Sender is Christ, not a mission agency or a denomination. It is His authority that propels, defines, and circumscribes the work. Without a doubt, this truth has sustained me more times than I can count.
It’s within this context of Christ sending that I believe our churches have lost a deep sense of its mandate to go. It seems that for the most part – the culture of the western church is one of “Come” Certainly Jesus does give the invitation for all who are thirsty and hungry to come to him…but the context of his invitation is that of him going out and within the context of He going out, we see that many came to him.
Many are hungry and thirsty without realising they are hungry and thirsty. There have been times when I have been out pottering around in the garden and my wife asks me if I would like a drink and suddenly I realise that I am thirsty. And in the same way we can also be the cause of many to realise what they are hungry and thirsty for.
The mandate for our churches is to be sent ones. The mandate of our leaders, pastors, elders is one to equip us to do the work of the ministry – which is out within the community in which we live; and not within the four walls of our sanctuary. Therefore I don’t think the term “Missionary” as is commonly used is a helpful one within the context of churchanity.
For whether God calls us to live and work overseas in a strange land, or he calls us to stay, work and live within the confines of the community we know – we are called to live as missionaries within our respective communities…answering the call of our Lord to go into our communities, living and breathing among all who are created in the image of God, treating all with dignity and respect and being living examples of the love of Christ.