Growing up a PK, preacher’s kid missionaries were always my heroes. They would come to our church from foreign fields and talk about the unfamiliar cultures, show us slides of the people and area they served, and shared what God was doing. I always looked at them as supermen for God. If we were lucky, they brought with them MK’s, missionary kids and we got to hang out for a while.
Later, I was blessed to be involved in a church planting effort in Baton Rouge, LA. I learned some valuable lessons. First, missions work is HARD. I had it easy with a core group already in place, and we still faced obstacles existing churches didn’t. Land alone was going to cost over a million dollars in a decent location. I also learned missions doesn’t have to be around the world. Baton Rouge was similar to home. I didn’t have to learn a new language and had shared experiences with the people there. I did have to get used to coffee strong enough to walk the dog on its own, but I learned to love it. One of most important lessons learned was that we are all missionaries. Our mission field is wherever we are. Every member of the core group had to be on mission for God. That is the same as at every church.
That is at the heart of what Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20 ““All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” ESV
Our commission is make disciples wherever we go. We give offerings to send missionaries to other towns, states, and nations. That is good and should be encouraged. However, we must also do our part to share the gospel here. Wherever you find yourself, that is your mission field. As we give to support worldwide missions, let us never forget to serve as missionaries right here at home.