Are You Missionary Material?
"Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples." -Psalm 96:3
I spent the last year traveling the world for Jesus on an 11-month mission trip to 11 countries. Needless to say, this is a huge testimony to how big, loving and merciful our God is. There is no, I repeat absolutely no way, I would have been able to go without His provisions and hand in every single situation.
When I tell people what I did, the most common responses are:
“I wish God called me to be a missionary.”
“Wow, that is something I would never be able to do.”
“It’s good you did it now because you won’t be able to do that later in life.”
So, what is a missionary?
It is a woman sharing love, connection and understanding with another struggling mother.
An employee encouraging and uplifting the work atmosphere.
It is a little child playing with other children down the street.
It is a friend supporting another friend.
The list goes on and on.
WE ARE ALL MISSIONARIES.
A missionary is someone taking the love, truth and light of Jesus and sharing it with the world.
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." -Matthew 28:19-20
Jesus said to go. Go down the street, in your neighborhood, across your office, in your town or city, in your state, country, to another continent or to the entire world (here are 38 questions to help you discover your mission field!). We are all called to do the same thing: take the message of Jesus Christ to those who don’t know. We are called to love others (Matthew 22:37-40). We are called to be in the world but not of the world.
A missionary is a follower of Jesus Christ who believes Jesus was nailed to the cross, died and then rose again. He is the Savior of the World. He doesn’t show love, He is love (1 John 4:16). This message we “preach” isn’t like any other message on the face of this earth. This message not only changes hearts, lives, bodies and souls, it changes generations. It changes the course of your life forever.
The first time I heard a message like this was in my home church. A man from India traveled all the way to Northern Idaho and was talking about missionary work. He was the first person to ever help me see what a “missionary” is in the Biblical sense. I remember sitting there, never having gone on a mission trip yet thinking, “Yes, yes, I can go down my street. I can ‘go’ to a co-worker and build a relationship with them.” It felt like I had been hit with a bag of light bulbs. My eyes and heart were opened in a new way. Since then I have been able to travel the world and go to multiple countries to teach and preach the good news of Jesus Christ. I have also been able to make relationships and see miracles in my work, local community and family.
I personally find it easier to share the good news with strangers across the world than in my home town with people I know though. God can and does work in every circumstance, whether or not we see it. I have shared the good news of Jesus and had people laugh in my face, tell me how stupid I was and so many other things or they just simply didn’t accept the truth they were being shown. Even in those circumstances, I believe I planted a seed of light that others will help fertilize and water until one day they will see and experience the love of God for themselves.
Once you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, there is no denying you are forever changed. You want people to know what Christ has done in and through your life. You were once lost, and now you have been found (Luke 15:32). You and I have been found in the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is the Great I Am, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He was and is and is to come.
"Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples."- 1 Chronicles 16:24
That is what a missionary is: spreading the undeniable love of Jesus Christ. Take it in your house, down the street or to a different country. No matter where you go, it’s still the same message.
A missionary steps out in boldness declaring the opinions of the world matter little to the opinion of God. We put our faith, hope, love and life in the hands of Jesus. In my mind, a missionary is one who accepts the call of God on her life and lives that call to the fullest. Whatever God calls you to do, that is your mission field. And I thank God we are all called to different and wonderful ways to be missionaries.
To be honest, I still don’t consider myself a “missionary.” I have done the trips, seen things that I could never begin to explain, have had life altering moments with Jesus and still I don’t use that label on myself. Lately, I have been asking God to help understand why that is. Honestly, I still know that I am unqualified. I am not good enough, I don’t have the right things to say and my life is a hot mess. But the beauty in it all is that God uses it. I have seen Him use my messed up life to connect with others that are going through the same thing. I have been able to connect and relate with girls that have been raped and molested because I have experienced that too. Homeless? Yes. Fear? You betcha! Anger? Man, where do I begin! Attempted suicide three times. Check. Abused drugs and alcohol. Yes. These are just examples of how I was able to connect with people because of situations and circumstances God has brought me through.
There were parts of my story where I was the only one around that could relate and speak light into those dark places that no one else I was with had experienced. God allowed me to walk alongside others that were confused, hurting and questioning God and life. I was able to lean on the Holy Spirit to speak through me. Sometimes, all we want is someone to listen and sit with us, and God has given me so many opportunities to do that.
With all of my heart, I believe and know that each of us, as a disciple of Jesus Christ, is a missionary. When we come together as one body, unified in one Spirit, we can change cities, states, nations and the world. Your Father in heaven loves you, has only good and loving thoughts about you and is proud of you. Step into the uncomfortable and allow God to move as only He can.
There is no age requirement, time limit or qualifications. We are all called, and just like Moses, God qualifies us and equips us as we go.
But first we all have to take the scary first step. I promise you though, that step is worth it. That step will forever change your life and will lead you to more first steps. Isn’t a life with God so exciting?
I encourage you to take that first step and just see what God has in store for you!
Where is God calling you to be a missionary?
How can you show God’s love more in your own life and in the lives of others?
A PRAYER TO TAKE AWAY WITH YOU:
My prayer is that I live my life fully for Jesus, that I will seek Him with everything I have. Jesus, I pray that You help me become a missionary in my work, in my community, my neighborhood and anywhere I go, no matter who I am around. That I radiate and overflow with the free love that was paid with such a price for me! I love you, Jesus, and ask You to break down my walls to see the ones in front of me that I have been missing and go to them. That I go out into this world to serve and not be served, to love rather than judge, to listen rather than be heard and to follow Your voice. Lord, I ask You to open my eyes to what You see, to open my ears to what You hear, to speak Your words and not my own. This is all for Your glory; You get all the honor and praise, Jesus. AMEN.
"Again Jesus said, 'Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.' And with that he breathed on them as said, ' Receive the Holy Spirit." -John 20:21-22
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kendra currently resides in Northern Idaho after just coming home from a year spent traveling the world for Jesus to 11 different countries! She loves adventures, traveling, spending time with family and friends, taking her dogs on walks, is currently training for a half marathon, laughing and using her essential oils. Her heart is to show the love of Jesus to each and every person she encounters, to let them know they are loved, respected and heard. Her passion is to awaken the warrior that God has created each of us to be, growing in deeper love and connection with God and the life He has given us! Kendra is excited to be H.O.T (honest, open and transparent) with y'all in her walk with God.