When I started working on the post for this week, my intent was to talk about defining your mission field.
That’s because, when I recently asked the Lord what specific mission field He has for me in this season of my life, I believe the answer was to focus my efforts on sharing Jesus with those who are facing end of life and don’t yet know Him.
After all, I love talking with those who are in this season of life because there’s so much authenticity in the air.
And since there may be a certain level of urgency involved, it’s also a ripe time for exploring spiritual matters and what comes next.
Beyond my current efforts of sharing content through my website, I’m not sure how else that will evolve, so I’ll continue to pray about that.
But as I was thinking more about that, I considered whether one’s “ministry” is the same thing as one’s “mission field.”
And I think the answer could be both yes and no.
For example, I created my Bibles & Bathrobes video devotionals to “minister” to those who may be benefit from having a sense of presence each day.
That may be Christians or non-Christians.
If it’s the former, I see it as more of a ministry.
If it’s the latter, I see it as both, since my aim is to both “minister” to those in need, and help those who don’t yet know Jesus eventually embrace a relationship with Him.
Personalizing The Great Commission
I don’t know if my thinking about ministry vs mission is correct (or if it matters), but either way, the Bible is clear that we’re all supposed to somehow share the hope that Jesus offers with others.
In what’s often referred to as “The Great Commission” Jesus gave His final earthly directive before ascending to heaven after His resurrection: “…All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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).
This final directive is also described in the Gospel of Mark: “…Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes, and is baptized, will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16: 15-16).
But figuring how to apply that and be obedient to Jesus’ command in our own lives can be a conundrum.
Does that mean we’re supposed to give up our lives here and head to a foreign land?
For some, that might be an exciting thought.
For others, that might completely freak them out.
Since being that type of traditional missionary is a unique calling, I think that’s something God specifically lays on a person’s heart.
But just because we don’t feel called to that kind of thing doesn’t mean that God doesn’t still have a mission field for us to discover and embrace.
After all, Jesus didn’t apply any type of exclusions or conditions to His directive.
Instead, He calls us all to spread the good news of the Gospel with others, and I believe He wants us to apply our unique gifts and circumstances to do it.
In that light, you likely know that you don’t have to pack up and head to a foreign land to step onto your mission field.
Instead, you might be doing exactly that when you walk into work, stroll down your street, or engage with others online.
Whatever it may be, I encourage you to ask God to reveal that to you, so you can focus your efforts in a way that makes the most of the unique gifts, skills, and experiences you’ve been given.
Next week, I’ll share about a fabulous mission organization based near us that does exactly that—plus a little about my experiences as a young pup of a nurse at a bush mission hospital in Zimbabwe.