Being an MK, an MGK and an MGGK (my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were missionaries), means that missions are in my blood. But I haven’t heard the call to the mission field – for now. Three of my sisters have and so have two of my dear friends. So when I think of missions, I think of the beautiful feet of the missionaries I love.
Even though my feet aren’t as pretty, especially after walking around barefoot – something I couldn’t do when I lived on the mission field - I have an important role in missions. The Great Commission is for me too.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of 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
Missionaries can’t go unless they are sent. So if I’m not going, I need to be sending. It works like this:
The messenger is sent – That’s the church’s job.
The messenger tells people about Jesus – That’s the missionary’s job.
The people hear about Jesus, believe in Him and call on the name of Jesus – By the Holy Spirit, that’s the non-believer’s response.
The new believers are saved – That’s God’s job.
My role as the sender is at the beginning of this sequence and is critical because it’s the first step. What does it mean to be a sender? Of course it’s the church that sends, not me as an individual, but there are things I do and can do to be part of the sending.
I’m already supporting the missionaries I mentioned at the beginning of the post. Mike and Mary Robinson who share the Good News at Blue Grass festivals (sometimes with very muddy feet). Janet and Paul McLarren who serve a crucial role in making sure the Good News is available to new believers in their own languages. Charlotte Mishler who used her lifetime of experience to share the Good News in Paraguay this summer. I support them in prayer, financially, and with friendship. Since it’s the church that sends, I can expand that support by bringing their work to the attention of my church.
As a church member, I can also support the missions programs of the church. There are several local programs and we take several annual offerings to support missionaries. But I think God wants us to do more, and the pastor has asked me to pray about starting a women’s missionary society. This is another opportunity to send. Maybe we’ll be able to send some of our members on short term missions. Who knows what God will do if we are faithful.
I know supporting missions doesn’t absolve me of sharing the Good News with everyone He brings across my path. And He may eventually send me to go and do that. But right now, I’m happy to be in the sending role.