Editorial: Wherever you are, make that your mission field

Missions: it’s an oft-discussed topic in Christian circles. And it’s a topic that’s constantly coming up in our churches. We give to missions, we pray for missionaries and we even go overseas on what we call “missions trips.” But is that really all there is to missions? Is that really what Jesus meant when He said, “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel”?

No, not really.

Parking ourselves in our favorite pews every Sunday, we’ve become quite complacent with the idea that missions is a job for someone else to do, not us. It would seem we’ve forgotten a very important part of the Great Commission. Yes, we’re giving, praying and sending the Gospel throughout the world. But what about our own part of the world?

Missions is something all believers ought to be doing every day, wherever God has called them at the moment, whether it’s ministering to a remote tribe in India or to the neighbor down the street.

So why are we so often reluctant to be missionaries in the world that directly surrounds it?

Many people neglect forging the relationships necessary for effective evangelism because they are under the misconception that any contact with the world will result in worldly Christianity. But if that’s the case, why have Christians been left in the world in the first place?

As Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, He asked God not to take His disciples out of the world, but to keep them from its evil agenda (John 17:15). He went on to say, “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.”

Jesus was sending His disciples out into a dangerous world, not very different from our world today. And He didn’t leave them, or us, without an example to follow.

Jesus Himself reached out and touched the lepers. He ate with the tax collectors and sinners. He didn’t just run and hide from people outside His band of 12 disciples. And we shouldn’t, either.

The Great Commission isn’t about creating a safety bubble for ourselves and sending missionaries out to do the “going into all the world.” The Great Commission is about all believers going out into their Jerusalems, their Judeas, their Samarias.

So who in your life should you be sharing Jesus with? Maybe it’s your favorite barista at Starbucks, or the auto mechanic who changes your oil or the girl in your discipleship group who is struggling spiritually. These are the people that maybe only you can reach. You can reach out; you can forge those relationships; and you can be a missionary right here, right now, wherever God has placed you.

So go out there, reach outside your comfort zone and reach your world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.