A Missionary

A Missionary

January 23, 2022

What is a Christian missionary? 
A Christian missionary is someone who has been called by Jesus to share the gospel with all peoples in every tribe, tongue, and nation. Their mission is to live out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) by making disciples and evangelizing to others so that everyone may come into a relationship with Jesus. In the Bible, Jesus tells all Christians to share the gospel with the ends of the earth, yet the Bible never once uses the word missionary to describe these Christians. Now, churches all over the world use the word ‘missionary’ as a way of describing a specific job Christians have.

“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 28:18-20 NIV).

A Missionary is a Servant

One of the most important characteristics of a missionary is that they are servants. They have surrendered their lives to God and followed His plan for them, even if that means giving up their pride and comfort to serve other people. We know from the Bible that the only person to serve perfectly was Jesus, and He taught that the greatest in His kingdom would not be the strongest, the mightiest, or the smartest, but that they would be the ones who were willing to serve. And while serving can come in many different shapes and forms for all Christians, missionaries make it a way of living and dedicate their lives to fulfilling the Great Commission.

It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26-28 CSB).

Though all missionaries are called to serve through missions, they all have incredibly different stories of serving that span many different types of ministry. From medical missionaries to missionaries serving in orphanages, all the way to missionaries who share the gospel through business, they do it all for the gospel and for the glory of God.

Paul: A Biblical Example of A Missionary

In the Bible and in all of history, Paul is probably the best role model for a missionary. After his incredible conversion, he began to powerfully serve Jesus by relating to the people he served cross-culturally, working to support his missions, and sharing the gospel of the kingdom without shame. As Christians, we can learn what it was like to be a true missionary through Paul and the work of the Holy Spirit in his writings in the Bible.

Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.

Acts 17:22-23 CSB

To be a missionary means that you will have to raise support or earn a living for the ability to live a lifestyle of missions. Raising support is perfectly fine and biblical, however, the apostle Paul models for a missionary what it means to work hard too. Paul also demonstrates what it’s like to be bold as a missionary all for the sake of the gospel. A missionary is not ashamed of the Gospel but rather preaches it because they know it is the power of God and wants anyone and everyone to believe. Not all missionaries will choose to be tentmakers, but it’s a real alternative to having to raise support and it provides opportunities for missionaries to get to know their culture and the people they’re trying to reach in a completely different yet relational way.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. (Romans 1:16 CSB).

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Guide to a Christian Missionary

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