“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.”
What do you think of when you hear the word missionary?
I immediately get a mental image of someone bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to extremely poor people in a hot dry land. Very little food or fresh water, dismal living conditions and a huge language barrier. Honestly, it does not sound very appealing to me!
Then this happened a few weeks ago….
My husband carries the title of “Church Planter.” A pastor who is called to “plant,” or start a new church where one has not been before. I was surprised then, one day when I saw this in the church bulletin of one of our supporting churches.
I don’t know why, but that hit me right between the eyes! WE are missionaries, right here in Central Texas. The similarities between my world and my view of missions end at the hot and dry land! We live in that climate, but our living conditions are fabulous (air conditioning) and most people seem to have plenty to eat and fresh water to drink. English is our native language. There are a lot of people in this area speaking languages other than English, but for the most part we can still understand each other.
This made me think…
Jesus calls us to be missionaries for HIM right where we are planted.
Have you seen how Google Earth works? You can zoom in on an area…from far above the globe…right down to the very spot where you are standing!
That could be your neighborhood, where you work or where you go to school. It seems like a daunting task when we look at the world view of mission work! Traditionally, we are familiar with a team going to a far away place like Hong Kong or Ethiopia, a youth group mission trip to an inner city area, or perhaps volunteering to help with disaster relief in a flooded or damaged area of the country. Those are all good things to do, but every day, right where you are, is exactly where God would want you to be HIS missionary.I believe our world would be a better place when we view our neighborhoods as our mission field. Click To Tweet
As I am writing this post, I am rereading a book written by my friend Greg Finke. “Joining Jesus on His Mission”. His book is about this very subject and he writes a lot more succinctly than I do! Greg says, “It’s time for us to sit up and realize that we are a missional church in a mission field called the United States of America. That makes you and me missionaries in our own neighborhoods. And although this is new to us it is not new to Jesus.”
Take a look around your neighborhood or workplace and see how you can love people right where you are. A smile or a kind word may be just the little bit of God’s love they need that day.
I believe our world can be a better place when we view our neighborhoods as our mission field and join Jesus on His mission.
I highly recommend reading “Joining Jesus On His Mission…How to Be an Everyday Missionary” by Greg Finke. You can buy it here https://dwelling114.org/book/ and learn more about Dweling 1:14
As a reminder to share the good news of the Gospel wherever you go, you could create this page in your Bible and consider all the possibilities you have right where you are planted!
1.Treat the page with a thin layer of clear gesso. Allow to dry, usually about 20-30 minutes.
2. I glued the strip of paper (with a regular glue stick) from the bulletin below where the state shape was to go.
3. Make a reverse stencil –Print and cut out the shape of your state or country and place it on the page where I determined it should go.
4. Adhere the stencil to your page with TickyTack (just a small amount so it doesn’t damage the page).
5. Lightly dab paint (I used my favorite Pearlescent watercolors by Niji) or distress ink over the stencil, shading as you go. Let dry.
6. Carefully remove the stencil. I then painted a little inside the state shape, just lighter than the background colors. Let dry thoroughly.
7. Outline the shape with a sharpie. For fun, I put a star over central Texas where we live.
8. Free hand lettering was penciled on and outlined with black sharpie. You can do your lettering however you like!