Lifestyle of a Missionary?

Who is a Missionary? :

Google says; A person sent on a religious mission, especially one sent to promote Christianity in a foreign country. A Christian is called to make disciples of all nations. 

Goal = -to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matt 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-18) Do this by preaching/living the Gospel -To follow God’s calling in order to complete first goal in the way He intends

How = praying and listening to God, sacrificing jobs, security, money, and comfort, living Godly and righteous lives, evangelizing the Gospel, investing and discipling individuals

What is the Lifestyle of a Missionary?

The lifestyle of a missionary is a wholly, self-sacrificial choice of placing God as the director of their life.

Missionaries tend to be thought of as individuals that proclaim the Gospel on street corners or in third world countries, live among tribes people, and live in discomfort without common luxuries. This is not always the case. A missionary is primarily focused on following God’s direction for their life. It does not mean living without commodities, but that, no matter how uncomfortable or difficult, God’s direction is first and foremost. The lifestyle of a missionary is a wholly, self-sacrificial choice of obedience to God and placing Him as the director of their life.

Mission work can be solely based from Jesus’s great commission, which says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.*” Jesus calls us to make disciples of every nation and people group around the globe. As one can easily see through the many means of social media, there are hundreds of diverse mindsets, lifestyles, traditions, and beliefs that have spread throughout mankind.

To strive for and allow God to work in an individual to becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ, there must be a change in his or her way of thinking; it is not a task that can be completed in a day. It is a long-term, relationship based mission to save the unsaved. The definition of a disciple is one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another.* An individual cannot fully understand God on the basis of human knowledge* and must be made known of the ways of God – by God – to be able to fully assist in spreading His doctrines and teachings. Therefore, as God is not a set of rules but rather a relational God,* the process of making a disciple, of building relationships with those who are unsaved, requires a long term commitment to fully invest into the lives of individuals. It requires obedience to God and allowing Him to use you as an example of living in relationship with Him. The only way one can be a missionary for God is to be in relationship with Him. To be in relationship with Him, one must be willing to obey and make the sacrifice and let go of what they have to be able to follow God’s calling.

Being in relationship with someone comes down to the roots of intentionally taking time to get to know the other. In spending time together, two individuals can learn how one observes, responds, reacts, and comprehends, thus learning how to be in community and fellowship with one another. Every human interaction is unique to every other relationship. It is the same with being in relationship with God. When one takes time to talk with God, read the Bible, and understand His ways, then that person will come to learn who God is and how their relationship with God works. A relationship with God is unique to every individual, just as every human relationship differs to another. Due to the differences in relationships with God, the way God calls an individual to make disciples of all nations will differ from person to person.

The Bible speaks of the Body of Christ,*  the community of believers in Jesus that work together to complete the will of God on Earth. Every Christian’s role is different to another to complete and aid the completion of knowing God and making Him known. Therefore, the lifestyle for every missionary will differ slightly. For one, God might direct them to sell what they own to move to a third world country to make Him known there. For another, God might call them to support that missionary with the job they have already in order to further advance the Gospel. For both individuals, the foundation of their actions are based on God’s direction and instruction for their lives. Both know how their unique relationships with God works. Moreover, both are obedient to the word of God and sacrificing what they can and are called to as they actively place God as the director of their lives. 

Christians are called to a life of obedience to God by following Jesus’s Great Commission. Every Christian is on a journey with God in stepping into a greater relationship of obedience and sacrifice with Him. In doing so, the Body of Christ is becoming a greater example to the world of living in relationship with Him. The wholly, self-sacrificial choice of obedience to God and placing Him as director of one’s life is a choice that not only missionaries are taking, but one that the entire Body of Christ is stepping into. 

-Elliot Daly, Canada

Sources: 

  1. Matthew 28:18-20

  2. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disciple 

  3. 1 Corinthians 2:14

  4. Hosea 6:6 & 1 Samuel 15:22

  5. 1 Corinthians 12:12-31