When I was a kid, they re-did the parking lots at the church we attended. When the parking lots were finished, there were signs placed at each exit that said “You Are Now Entering The Mission Field.” I didn’t get it. I thought they had put all the signs up backwards.
After months I finally asked my parents why the signs were on backwards. They explained to me that once we left the parking lot, that the mission field was all around us and it was our jobs to tell people about Jesus.
That makes us all missionaries right? That means that if we are in a mission field we must be missionaries.
I think maybe the words “mission” “missionary” and “mission field” have maybe gotten so saturated in our vocabulary that we sometimes miss how special and meaningful they are.
“Missionary” is from the Latin word “missio” which means dispatching, sending, or releasing. When it was originally used in the 15th century it was used for the men and women who were giving up everything in their home culture and their home way of life to spread the word of God. They were crossing cultural and language barriers and they were fairly isolated, sent out on their own for better or for worse.
That takes gumption, something special planted and then cultivated by God. To go out into the world like that is no small thing. These are the Goers.
And what about the Senders? What is our responsibility with the gospel?
We are to be Proclaimers. Using our gifts of teaching, preaching, prophesying, encouraging, giving, serving, teaching, or whatever the gift may be, according to the grace we have been given. (Romans 12:6-8) And we are to Send the Goers out boldly, backed up and packed up with prayer, finances, and love.
Even if we aren’t the ‘goers’ into the international fields or maybe even set domestic fields, doesn’t mean we aren’t missionaries too. A pastor at a conference once said “we need to start looking at each trip to get a gallon of milk as a short-term mission trip.” Because we always need to be looking for opportunities to share the Gospel as we go about our daily lives.
Its good stewardship!