I started my professional ministry by going on two mission trips in the first four weeks on the job. I had done one before, but they quickly became a large part of my ministry. However, despite taking two trips/year for five years while in Texas, additional trips in Ohio and eventually with First Trinity, I never felt mission work was my calling. I didn’t see myself as a missionary.
Maybe you don’t consider yourself one either, but that’s exactly what you are. You have been called to share your love for Jesus with others in your home, school, workplace, community, and even the world—wherever it is that God has placed you.
Recently, I gained a new understanding of what this means, largely based on Peter’s first letter. Here’s what he says about being a “missionary” if you will:
… but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect… 1 Peter 3:15
There are two key points here. First, focus on your relationship with Jesus as Lord of your heart. That’s the core of being a missionary. Then, be prepared to “make a defense” for the hope within you.
It’s interesting because I hear Peter reminding us to be in Jesus, not do for Jesus. But being always leads to doing. It is expressed in how you live. And when you live as one who honors Christ as Lord in your heart, people notice and ask questions. It gives you permission then to “make a defense” and have a conversation with them.
So spend time being with Jesus. Read the Bible, pray, worship, share what He’s doing in your life—but also be prepared to talk about the hope that comes from being in Christ. You are a missionary.