On the difference between missions and evangelism

“You are now entering the mission field”

Have you seen those signs at church parking lots?
i like the idea. i love the concept.
Wherever we go is the mission field.

i loved when i was on summer project, they told us we’re not looking for jobs, but ministry locations. i took that attitude with me that summer and when i returned to school the next fall. And there are plenty of opportunities to share the Gospel and interact with non-Christians at McDonalds & AppleBees for sure!

And i love that our organization has an attitude of 100% sent.

but doing missions and doing evangelism is not the same thing.

i know the trend now is not make a big deal out of people who give their life for missions. It’s unfair to those who don’t. They feel bad, like they are lesser Christians – which is not the case. But, then again, i think there is honor to  those who take on spiritual leadership. And i think we need to put in high regard those who go into missions. They are entering battlefields.
And i say this too- some places are more difficult than others. And some people may complain they weren’t called to that difficult place, but where they are serving is difficult too. i believe it. God has us in unique places, according to His wise & good plan.
But recognizing someone is going to a difficult place in the jungles vs someone going to a big modern city is another thing.
And to say the person who works a job and ministers to his co-workers is just as much a missionary as the one who leaves country and home to go to another culture for the only purpose of winning people to Christ is also false.

i am not saying we don’t need those people ministering to people at the workplace. i am certainly not saying those people are in sin. In fact, i think there are many who go on short-term (and perhaps long-term) missions who have no business being there. And it shows.
But i think we need to put an emphasis on missions.

This conversation happened briefly this summer at X-track, but no one really wanted to talk about it.

This conversation happened with my Dad and i.

My dad was apparently really upset when he went to a conference that was campeigning missions- but had no missionary challenge. Instead they said we can all be missionaries. My dad was not happy with this. He is not a missionary. He knows not everyone there will go into the mission field- but he wanted to trust that God could call someone. He wanted to give a distinct call into the mission field to those who may be called.

This goes into expectations again. Since at a conference 95% of the people aren’t going into missions, let’s address those 95%. But who knows, maybe another 5% would be called if we challenged them. And who else is going to challenge those 5%?
Are we limiting God? Are we appealing to the masses? Are we letting post-modern culture define how we challenge people?

i like to pray all my students will be laborers in the Kingdom. And i also pray the Lord would call people into  full-time work. i love it when i interact with people and they tell me how they are ministering at their office, and how they are involved in their church.

We are all ministers, but we are not all missionaries.

We are all witnesses.
(As the LeBron add has noted)
And so we should all tell f what Christ has done for us
But some are called to be missionaries. Some are called to go.
Maybe it’s you.

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