“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV)
I grew up dreading sermons on the topic of missions. It’s not because I don’t love missions; in fact, I can think of nothing more exhilarating than sharing the name of Jesus with a lost world. I love as 1 Peter 2:9 says to “declare the excellencies” of our God, telling others about the miraculous work Jesus has done on my behalf. But for years, any time I heard that a pastor would be preaching on missions or that we were entering into another “missions week,” I cringed because I knew the sermon was going to fill me with nothing but guilt that I wasn’t “going” to “all nations” to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
I’ve never lived outside of the U.S. and I have never been in a vocational role that would traditionally be considered “full-time ministry.” I’ve spent my career as a tech entrepreneur and an author. I build companies and write books for a living. And through that work—work many in the Church might call “secular”—I have seen the Lord do incredible things to reach hurting people with the gospel.
It’s unfortunate that when most churches talk about missions today, they speak of it almost exclusively in terms of Christians leaving the jobs and geographies God has called them to to move overseas as “full-time, donor-supported missionaries.” I hate the way many in the Church talk about missions, because I love the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I am tired of being told—subtly and not so subtly—that because you and I spend 40+ hours a week building businesses, going to school, crunching numbers, creating art, and carpooling kids, we are not “full-time missionaries” committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ wherever we go.
Calling a Christian a full-time missionary is redundant. It need not be said. Whether you’re a student, a businessperson, a barista, a doctor, a janitor, a lawyer, a mother, or a teacher, you are a full-time missionary called to make disciples as you go throughout life! God’s Word makes clear that you and I can be obedient to the Great Commission without changing our vocation or location. You can view your work as full-time missions starting today.
If this idea sounds new or fresh, it’s because the Church has bought into three unbiblical myths of missions that we will look to Scripture to refute over the next three weeks.