Meghan Salinas, Vision Magazine Staff Writer
The act of radical surrender to God’s call, especially when that call is foreign mission based is something that Christians struggle with daily. When being called to the mission field God’s people must abandon everything that they are comfortable including money, family, friends and occupation. The question God bestows on his children is this, “Will we follow him wherever he calls us?”
The question that has been tugging at many believers’ hearts throughout the years has been whether or not all followers of Christ are called to be missionaries whether it be locally, across North America or beyond. Acts 1: 7-8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Believers are called to be disciples who make more disciples and that in itself is living a life on mission. While North Greenville University is an institution that pushes all of its student body to experience a foreign mission trip, Gerald Roe, chair of the intercultural studies department at NGU said, “It is not God’s plan to call all of his children away from their homes to foreign lands.” Roe shared that there is a difference between being “called” into missions and being “called out” to embark on foreign missions and that is something that needs to be remembered. Roe continues, “Being called to staying right where you are is not a bad thing, in fact, it’s a beautiful thing. ‘As you are living your life, as you are moving forward, be my witnesses’ God said. That is your mission in the earth.”
Many believers feel that God is calling them to go but what they also need to be praying is for permission to stay. Is God actually calling them to go or are they just in love with the idea of missions because it’s something that they can add to their resume or because the idea is becoming trendier?
Erin Roof, a sophomore at NGU who has a heart for proclaiming the gospel through missions in Uganda said, “It is just as important to have people stay right where they are and find their mission where they are located now.” If we can’t even share the gospel in our own city then how will we be equipped to share the gospel to people who have yet to hear Jesus’s name before?
Mark 16: 15-16 says, “God said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” What believers have failed to realize is that Travelers Rest, South Carolina is a mission field. God has called Christians to “go”, but he has called out certain people to go and preach to the foreign nations. The beauty of the gospel is that God uses less than ideal and flawed people to give hope to the flawed world. If a person feels called to overseas mission, they should be even more equipped to share the gospel to their neighbor.
Those who are a part of the church who are not necessarily called to pursue foreign missions must understand that they must be enabling and encouraging those who God has called out to fulfill God’s call and that means through offering, donations and intense prayer. God intentionally designed humanity, and the church, to express a variety of gifts and roles for His multi-faceted purpose and glory.
The body believers of Christ need to realize that everywhere they go they have the potential to influence at least one non-believer. Christians are all called to outreach and missions but they are not all called to be missionaries. If all of us are being sent, who are the senders? Use the analogy of the body of Christ for example; if every Christian is to be the feet of Christ that takes the good news to the nations who will be the hands, head and heart?