Missions X Local Church

Jul 26

Missions X Local Church

I was in church, in a moment when I needed to gather strength to face the war that was to come on Monday, when the presence of God during worship started to renew me and I felt the tension on my shoulders easing. Then the answer to a question I had been experiencing in prayer finally came .

 

I needed to understand the difference between the role of a missionary and the role of a believer involved in the work at a local church . Not only because I became a missionary and I need to understand clearly who I am concerning this choice I’ve made , but also because of all the people I talk to about it and who are seeking to understand who they are in the body of Christ and their role in the Kingdom. There are also those who tend to be more aggressive when discussing this matter, as if wanting to diminish the work of those who are full time pastors and missionaries, bringing all sorts of confusion and fueling fear of a life of dependence on God . Those also need an answer , because Satan’s lies must be exposed and fought with the truth so that people are set free.

 

That was a day like many others before and after that, when I needed the gifts given to others, members of the Body of Christ, to do the work that I was called to do. I’m glad to realize that since I left Brazil and started my missionary career The Lord has always provided people and places where I could be strenghened and nurtured. And even when there were no places or people to do so, videos and books were sent my way and I received what I needed. But that day in the church, I looked around me and saw the guy at the soundboard with his outstretched hands, intercessors here and there praying for people, the worship team ministring and I also remembered the couple who came and talked to my husband and I at the end of the service the week before and the prophet who gave us messages of encouragement and words of wisdom. All these people here, working together, making it a place of refuge, rest and nurishment. Then I asked the Lord once again, what was the difference between them and people like my husband and I, missionaries. Then a phrase popped into my mind in a very clearway, “Missionaries are the mobile units”.

 

I kind of had had a similar idea in mind, although quite blury and in needing to take shape. I see it as being like a company in which there is a small group of employees whose work involves traveling around starting new branches (apostles), visiting clients (pastors), prospecting new clients (evangelists), training people (teachers) or providing consulting services (prophets). Most employees work in just one of the company’s units, linked to only one branch, but there is a minority who works on expanding the business and taking the company beyond the walls that have been established. The company pays for the travel and everything the employee needs. Through the work of those people the boundaries are expanded and the company grows .

 

With all this I mean that the dependence on God for finances, prayer life, and engagement with the Kingdom’s work are not exclusive of missionaries and pastors. It is up to each one of us to walk our own journey to discover our role in the Body, our calling in the Kingdom, the time and the place where to pursue such a call. The difference is that the missionary was called to serve far from home, or from place to place, always moving, always traveling; often working without a fixed salary because to generate results in certain places and in certain areas of society it is necessary to do full time voluntary work. And it’s not without a reason that the Word of God says that the fields are white but they lack workers. Notice that the Word does not say there is lack of money, it says that there is lack of workers. And in every church I’ve been to from my childhood to this day (and especially in each missionary base I’ve been), I see lack of people. People of all kinds. People who can cook, clean, use the computer, answer the phone, fix things, drive, write well, speak well, teach, serve, organize events, sew, take care of sick people, decorate environments, play musical instruments, … There is a need and a demand for all sorts of people who wish to be part of what God is doing in the world these days. Believe me when I say that each of those people with diverse skills (apparently disconnected from what  religious work and preaching of the gospel is believed to be) are essential for reaching certain groups of people . A lot can be done with a lot of money and a lot can be done with little money too. Depending on the tools and resources, different things can be done and there are different ways to reach out to broken lives. But without people … We can’t do much … And without Jesus , we can do nothing .

 

Who are you in this? If the Kingdom of God were the “Company of God,” would you be the employee working at headquarters or working providing services away from it? Do not forget that an employee who doesn’t work is fired ( a branch that does not bear fruit is cut off, remember ?, “who does not gather with me scatters” and so on …). Everyone who takes up his/her own cross and follows the Master will have to learn how to live a life of dependence on God. Everyone who belongs to The Lord will suffer persecution. The tribulations will come to everyone who does not belong in this world and chose to store up treasures in heaven instead of down here. And depending on what you are doing and where you’re doing them, things will be more or less difficult. But our role is to carry our own cross and carry each other’s burdens. As a missionary, my role involves a lot of encouraging those in the “headquarters” and via e-mail, Skype, blog … My calling is to be available full time to the work of the Kingdom and to expand it through serving in religious organizations and missionary bases and individually as well. I do everything the best way I can and in all things I seek to glorify the name of Him who called me and fulfill what He has called me to do. In each place the needs are different and I do whatever needs to be done. I’ve taught missionary children, played guitar on the street, I’ve cooked, I’ve cleaned the bathrooms, sang, danced, drew, told stories, served coffee, sewed, I organized events, helped repair a ship, filmed, wrote, preached … I did what was necessary at the time and place it was necessary. But if you want to ask me what in fact God has called me to do… Ah … THAT you already know because it is the same God has called you to do too! It is written in Luke 4:18 and 19!

 

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

 

You may not yet understand exactly what this has to do with serving coffee or cleaning bathrooms and there is only one way to find out. Tell the Lord that you want to live for Him. Say you want to find out your calling, who He created you to be and the life that Jesus conquered on the cross for you. Say you are willing to do whatever it takes. Do it and come talk to me again in a year or two… Ahahhhahahahahah…

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