A missionary is a term we usually give to people who are going to a particular area to serve. We think of the couple who have left their job, family and home and goes to Africa. We think of the single adult who abandons the career for a calling to reach a particular people group.
We think of the person who went on a mission trip and now wants to go on the mission field. We see them usually every couple years or at our annual missions conference. We get their updates and have their magnets on our refrigerator so we don’t forget to pray for them. Yet, the reality is this isn't what a Missionary is all about.
The simple definition and description of a missionary is this… ONE SENT. Here is my question…Isn't that all of us who have been transformed by the Gospel? Isn't that what Jesus was calling us to when He gave us the EVERYDAY COMMISSION…”Therefore GO and MAKE disciples… Do we sometime think that calling was for “those people”?
Let me confess something. I hate to admit it but I have to. I DID. I used to think all of those things that I wrote above when it came to missionaries. I am not sure why I thought that but I did. It hasn't been till I have taken this journey to be a church planter that I have really realized this false belief and how ingrained it was in me.
This shift in thinking and really understanding my identity in Christ has been powerful not only in me but our church. This simple idea of sharing with our church family that you are a missionary is one of the essentials we continually teach and talk about. We want our folks to know that because of the gospel and what it means for us that we are MISSIONARIES who get to serve everyday. Not out of a duty but a simple desire to see His kingdom advance by making Him known. We do this when we serve.
This leads me to this point. Should I serve Jesus today? This isn’t the question we need to be asking. The truth is we will serve a king today…the only question for us is WHAT KING WILL YOU SERVE? This is what I love about Shelby Moreland.
She has embraced this mindset and it has been amazing to see her life transform over the past 15 months. She went from a young girl who was leaving her home, her family, her comfortable position to come and DO MISSIONS. Yet, she like all of us have come to the awakening that missions isn't something we do – its who we are.
We serve like Jesus. He said it best when He said that He came not to be served but to serve. He told those disciples that would one day “turn the world upside down” that he was ready to show them the “FULL EXTENT OF HIS LOVE”. How did He do this? He took the role of a servant and washed their feet. King Jesus washed those disciples feet and then told them to do as He had done to them.
I am excited that Shelby Moreland isn't leaving Grace Falls today. I am excited that we are SENDING Shelby out today. She is a missionary servant sent by God to make disciples. She is only the beginning. Our prayer isn't that we grow to be a big church. Our prayer is that we would be a MATURE group.
A group that raises men and women who are mature enough not to need another message or a meeting put on by us but a group of men and women who know how to feed themselves and are on mission to feed others. This is what I pray we have done with Shelby. Prepared her to BE what God has created her to be. A daughter loved by God and ready to show that love to others.
Will you join me in praying a prayer of thanksgiving and celebration of the Gospel today? A celebration of seeing the Gospel – the good news – at work today; a work that is not confined by a building, city or even a person. A work that is working and continues to work regardless of what you and I think or even do.
God is always at work. All we have to do is take the time to look around and there we will see the activity of God. I see it today as clear as I ever have. The brokenness of a young lady who weeps not because she leaves but because she knows the work isn't done yet.
Shelby, I comfort you with these words today…”Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will RETURN with songs of JOY, carrying the sheaves.” Psalms 126:6.