What Is My Mission Field?

I’ve lived in the same city my entire life. All of my childhood memories are here. My family is here. My closest friends are here. My college campus is here. My workplace is here. I could tell you about all of the tourist attractions across town and the places you need to see. I could tell you about the hidden gems, the latest festival, but also the parts of town that aren’t so pretty. All of this makes up the place I call home.

When I graduated, I was looking for every reason to leave. I felt as though there was nothing left for me in this city. I wanted to know what was out there. If the same God that governs my town governs the rest of the world, then there had to be something out there for me. I remember sitting in my room praying over and over again that God would give me wisdom and guidance in navigating this season of life. My hope was that maybe God would lead me to a completely new city or maybe He would call me to go on mission in a foreign country, away from all that was familiar. I prayed, “God, take me anywhere you want to go.”

After months of prayers and applications, I found myself feeling angry, disappointed, and without a response from God. It has been months and I’m still here. Didn’t Jesus call us to go?

The Command

In Matthew 28:19-20, which is often referred to as the Great Commission, Jesus says to His disciples, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

This scripture is often referenced when discussing missions. Many times when we think about missions and the mission field we envision ourselves traveling somewhere in a far off distance to a country and a culture that is so different from our own. As I reflected on this passage and continue to reflect, it becomes more apparent that the mission field is less about me and where I’m going and more about Jesus and what He has commanded.

Jesus says to the disciples that they are “chosen and appointed by Him to go and bear fruit (John 15:16).” Jesus tells the disciples to “love people the way that He loves them so that those people may know His love” (John 13:34-35). He built real and authentic relationships. He loved the poor (Luke 4:18), the man with leprosy who was outcasted from society (Mark 1:40), the Samaritan woman who was not supposed to be interacting with him because of her race and gender (John 4: 4-42). He loved people and He came so that we would have life (John 10:10). As followers, we are commanded to love like Jesus did.

For some, God does call and invite them into the mission field that takes them to a foreign country. For others, including myself, God calls and invites us to the mission field that is already in front of us.  

When Jesus says to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,” it includes the relationships we have and the communities we are currently a part of. It includes our hometowns and the city we’re currently living in. It includes the places that we are currently at for we are also a part of the global community.

The mission field is not always a place that we’ll get to someday in order to live out Jesus’ call but it is here and now.  


In the midst of my discernment and all of my emotions, God was redefining for me what it meant to be missional. He was asking me to deny myself and the things that I wanted for a greater purpose. He was asking me to let go of my expectations of what missions should be.

I live in one of the most segregated cities in the United States. Caucasians live on the east side of the city as well as  in the suburbs. Many Hispanic populations reside on the south side. The African American population primarily occupies the north side of the city. Asian Americans, refugees, and immigrants primarily live on the northwest side and scattered throughout the suburbs. The race relations in this city have been strained for decades.

While segregation has become normal for those living within the metropolitan area, racial injustice and segregation is not how God intended the body of Christ to be. He confirms in His word “that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together (1 Corinthians 12: 25-26).”

At the time that God put this on my heart, He was also working in the hearts of others who wanted to see unity and the love of Christ transform the city. By the Holy Spirit, I was led to a multi-ethnic church that was just planted for this very purpose. In those moments, I knew that God was giving me the wisdom, the guidance, and the “go.” He was asking me to see people the way He saw people. He was asking me to love people the way He so loved me.  

The past couple of years have been a testament of God’s faithfulness. Through community, Bible studies, city-wide outreaches, racial reconciliation, and real and authentic friendships, I’ve been a witness to hearts being healed, lives being transformed, and people of all nations coming together. In that, God has also shown me the beauty and power of a body of people from all different backgrounds, ages, and walks of life using their gifts for His Kingdom.

This is the mission field He’s called me to.

Discerning Your Mission Field

Maybe the Holy Spirit has been tugging on your heart to go and you’re wondering how to respond. My encouragement to you is reflect on where you’re at right now, pray, and pray some more. Ask God to show you. Ask Him to lead you. The following are reflection questions to consider as you discern your mission field.

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  • Who needs the love of Christ?

  • What are some of your friends/family members going through?

    • Is it a transition?

    • Is it something they’re experiencing for the first time?

    • Is it something challenging?

  • How can you encourage them?

  • How can you speak truth their situations?

  • How can you be praying for them?

Your School/Campus

  • Who needs the love of Christ?

  • It may be:

    • Your roommate(s)

    • Your classmate(s)

    • Organizations you’re a part of

    • Your sorority

    • An organization you aren’t a part of

    • Your teachers and professors

    • Other faculty

    • Those who are of a different ethnic background than you

    • Those who are studying abroad here in the U.S.

    • Those who are on the margins

  • How can you start to build real and authentic friendships with these people?

  • How can you encourage them?

  • How can you pray for them?

  • How can you speak truth to their life and the things that they are going through?

  • How can you stand up for the injustices that are taking place at your school or on your campus?

Your Workplace

  • How can you build real and authentic friendships?

  • How can you show the love of Christ to the people that you work with?

  • Maybe it’s:

    • Fully listening and engaging

    • Giving someone the time and space to share their thoughts and ideas

    • Making yourself open and available to help or to problem solve

  • What are some of the things that your co-workers are going through?

  • How can you encourage them?

  • How can you speak truth to their situation?

Your City

  • Who needs the love of Christ?

  • How do you show them the love of Christ?

  • What are some of the injustices in your city? Or situations that are not how God intended things to be?

  • It may be:

    • Homelessness

    • Poverty

    • Segregation

    • Human Sex Trafficking

    • Drug Addiction

    • Violence

    • Or other issues that your city is facing

  • How can the love of Christ transform your city?

  • How do you stand up for injustice?

  • How can you be praying over these issues?

  • What resources are available in your city? How can you be a resource or provide resources?

  • What opportunities are available for you to be the hands and feet of Jesus?

This Nation/All Nations

  • Who needs the love of Christ?

  • What are some of the injustices in this world?

  • What situations are not how God intended things to be?

  • Who is being persecuted? Who are on the margins?

  • How can the love of Jesus Christ change or transform these situations?

  • How can you be praying?

  • What resources are available? How can you be a resource or provide resources?

  • What opportunities are available for you to be the hands and feet of Jesus?

As You Go

Jesus is commanding us to go and calling us to love. For some, you may be the only “Jesus” they will see. May you “let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).”

May we step into the mission field that He’s called us to with confidence knowing that God is with us to the end of the age.   


Dena is a storyteller, artist, dreamer, doer, and follower of Jesus Christ. Week by week, you’ll find her bringing new ideas to life in the marketing world, preparing and teaching a small group Bible study, and scribbling down her thoughts and new ideas in a cafe. She loves writing, traveling, poetry, photography, and connecting with people beyond the small talk.