Talk about missions without imagining a Christian with a backpack and a worn out suit in an underdeveloped country is almost impossible for most people.
The concept of missionary has been distorting itself over time. Christians today are even divided between those who “have called a missionary” and those who do not. But is thinking this way correct? Is it only a missionary who is sent to an underdeveloped country?
After all, what is mission?
In the dictionary, we have the main definition of “mission” as the “an important assignment carried out for political, religious, or commercial purposes”. So, basically, be a missionary is to fulfill an assignment that was given to you by someone who is at the head of the mission. Right?
We must understand then that if everything is done of Him, by Him and for Him. The mission is entirely of Him!
Rom 11:36 “For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen”.
And what is the mission?
The mission is simple and was left by God Himself incarnate, Jesus Christ. And it was not a mission left only for those eleven who heard the message from the mouth of the Messiah himself. But for the whole church, until the Lord’s return! We call this talk of Jesus “The Great Commission.” And if we analyze carefully, we will see that if the mission is an assignment, commission is a duty!
Matthew 28:18-20 “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (19) Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you”.
Dissecting the great commission we see that all the details of the mission are very clear:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…”- We understand that the authority upon the mission belongs to Him and that is why he is commissioning people to be part of the work that he himself began to do.
“Go and make disciples of all nations … teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” – We understand that we have all been commissioned, we are now in charge of making disciples of all nations, including ours.
What do I need to be part of the mission?
The first thing to do to be a missionary is to accept Jesus and be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Even Jesus only began his mission after being baptized by John, the Baptist (Matt 3:13).
It is necessary to receive the Holy Spirit. It is He who gives power, courage and authority for the mission to be accomplished.
Acts 1:4 “On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. (5) For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
(8) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
After that, then the mission begins. Which is more detailed the moment Jesus sends the twelve apostles.
Matt 10:7 “As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ (8) Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give”.
We were very fooled into thinking that these things were only meant for the disciples of Jesus at that time. As Christians, we are disciples of Jesus too. The same word is extended to all who believe in Him and have been baptized. When Jesus said that something was given to the disciples “for free”. He said about Himself and about His message. This has passed from one to another since that time. So it becomes present today in our lives together with the mission that was left by the King of Kings.
Starting the mission
Now that all that is needed to become part of Christ’s great commission has been done, just go. Feed daily from the Word of God, pray to the Lord for direction and wisdom, and fast to be ever nearer to Him. Along with this, tell everyone what you can about forgiveness of sins and the things Jesus has done in your life. Announce the gospel (good news) to your parents, siblings, uncles, cousins and the whole family. Talk about the love of Christ for the people of your job or your academic environment. Do not forget: make disciples! You cannot planting a seed and refuse watering it to grow.
Of course, we won’t forget. There are people who are called to be sent to the nations. Like the missionaries we see going to other countries. But now, understanding what the mission is, we know that being a missionary does not necessarily mean going to Africa.
May God, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, grant you grace, peace and the power of the Holy Spirit so that every mission may be accomplished until the end of the world. Amen!