No, Christian, You Really Aren’t a Missionary. But You Are This
You probably hear it at church.
You’ll see it written in Christian blogs.
You’ll definitely see it often across social media sites.
What am I referring to?
The claim that every Christian is a missionary.
When church leaders say we’re all missionaries, it confuses the average Christian who automatically thinks of those faithful disciples who travel to distant countries to proclaim the Gospel as being “real” missionaries.
The rest of us aren’t.
I understand the reason for the usage of the term — since every Christian is supposed to be “on mission” to make disciples, we’re all “mission-aries.”
But no, we really are not.
BUT that doesn’t mean we’re not appointed by God to His mission of reaching the lost. Instead of being missionaries, we are appointed by God to be ambassadors for Christ, given the ministry of reconciliation to conduct, and are equipped with the Gospel as our tool for our ambassadorial work. The Apostle Paul explains it all like this:
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!’” 2 Corinthians 5:17-20.
Have you ever considered that scripture doesn’t call the ordinary Christian a missionary, even though many preachers will tell you over and over that every Christian is a missionary? We ARE told in scripture that we’re Christ’s ambassadors, we’re assigned the ministry of reconciliation, we’re to use the Gospel to conduct our ministry, and that God quite literally is making His appeal for reconciliation through us!
I think sometimes Christians who don’t pack up and move overseas as a missionary think they are “off the hook” when it comes to evangelism. But when we understand that we’re Christ’s ambassadors, that means we represent Him anywhere and everywhere, all the time. It also means we’ve been assigned a specific ministry (reconciliation) and have been equipped to serve (given the Gospel as our ministry tool).
Being “on mission,” then, means being about our ministry of reconciliation as Christ’s ambassadors.
As Christians, we are not all missionaries but we are all ambassadors (even the missionaries!).
This article originally appeared here.