Living Missionally

Are you living on mission with God? My wife and I have a lot of young people in our lives. We have a lot of folks from the ages of 18 to 30 who spend time at our house. They come over, they have meals. Sometimes they come over to work on our farm or to kind of volunteer their hours. Sometimes they come over for Bible studies.

We just love to be highly involved in the lives of young folks and we have a lot of young, Christian people who come and ask us life advice. Very often we are asked to give our thoughts on the idea of missions, what it means to be a missionary and how one discerns a missionary calling. Most of these people know that my wife and I lived as long-term church planting missionaries on the highlands of the Asian plateaus for about 10 years.

It’s not always easy to advise these people, but it is a joy to see young people who are interested in giving their hearts and their lives to something significant. They are asking themselves a very important question, which is: how can I invest my life in a way that matters for eternity for the glory of God? It is a great thing to wonder about and a great thing to ask.

Missions are an extraordinarily important thing for all Christians to consider and to be open to, even if God does not call each and every Christian into overseas missions. I have referenced John Piper’s book Let the Nations Be Glad in past video blogs that I have done, but one of the things that stands out to me as I think about that book is that John Piper makes the point of worship being the greatest of all human activities. I can’t disagree with that. Of all the things that humans can invest themselves in, worshiping God and appropriately returning glory to him is the highest of all human activity. If that is the case, then the second most glorious of all human activities is missions.

I am not saying that everybody has to be involved by going out on the mission field, but everybody needs to be involved. Every Christian needs to be involved in making the glories of God known to the ends of the earth. Maybe your role in that is to support missionaries. Maybe your role in that is to pray for missionaries. Maybe your role in that is to invest yourself in local mission agencies or to volunteer your time. Maybe your role in that is to be an evangelist in your neighborhood or in your workplace. Maybe your role in that is to go overseas and be willing to follow God if he calls you there.

I used to think that missions were the most important thing for Christians to consider doing with their lives outside of worship. Missions exist because worship doesn’t, as Piper says, missions exist because there are people out there who don’t know that Jesus died for them.
That is why we go to the ends of the earth with the missionary calling, but it is not always received well.

For me to talk about missions the way I do, and to talk about it dogmatically in a way that makes people feel like if they are not involved in missions and they don’t know exactly how to be involved in missions or what their place is, produces a little bit of frustration. Then we find certain young people who say, “God is not calling me into missions. I know that for sure.”

What I realize is, we are actually speaking the same language, but we are using different wording. People who say that I have not been called into missions, I think what they are saying is I have not been called by God to train myself to leave this country and go to another country and another culture to share the gospel and live there for the rest of my life. That is not necessarily what missions are, but that is what people think missions are supposed to be.

I think that part of the disconnect between my saying all Christians should be involved in missions, which I do believe all Christians should be involved in missions, is I need to change my wording a little bit and this is what I have come to: What does it mean to live missionally? What does it mean to follow God with a missional mindset? If one follows God with a missional mindset, it means they are abandoned to do whatever it is that God asks him to do, no matter what that is. Whether that means going overseas and living in the hardest places, or whether that means working in a high-rise downtown and making the kind of money that frees you to support missionaries at a significant level. That is involvement in missions and both of them involve living missionally.

When I say living missionally, I mean living with an intentional abandon in the service of all that God has called Christians to obey. If all Christians will live missionally, then they will play some role in fulfilling the Great Commission and in fulfilling God’s command to take the gospel to the ends of the earth.

Some people disagree about whether or not all Christians have already been called to abandon all and go to different places. That is not within the scope of this particular blog but I will say that I believe if all Christians will live missionally, missions will be advanced in this world in a tremendous way.

Passion Life is a missions organization. Passion Life is also a pro-life organization. We use pro-life ministry as a platform for missions in various countries around the world. It is a very unique organization in which we sit directly at the nexus, if you will, of missions and pro-life involvement.
So many places in the world where the gospel is least preached, the abortion rates happen to be very, very high. Going to high abortion rate countries takes us all over the globe to many different cultures, tribes, languages, peoples, groups and nations. We love being on missions because it presents pro-life ministry as an opportunity. Where is God calling you to live missionally? There is one great human activity, and that is the worship of Almighty God.

The second most glorious activity we can be involved in is missions, and all Christians are called to live missionally.