I have discovered that some of you are still uncertain about the purpose of those listed in that bulletin as “ARC Missionary Families of the Week.” Hope this reprinted article from January 15 helps.
Missionary: noun \ˈmi-shə-ˌner-ē\ : a person sent on a mission, esp. on a religious mission. I praise God for the missionaries that are supported by American Reformed Church and I look forward to learning more about the different fields to where they are called. I appreciate their deep love for God and their willingness to leave the comfort of what would be considered “familiar” in order to acclimate themselves to a different culture.
I believe many Christians appreciate and financially support missionaries because they believe somebody has to do it and they’re just thankful it’s not them. (OK, at least that’s what I thought growing up). As a young kid, the last thing I ever wanted to be was a missionary. In fact I would guess the fear of being called to become a missionary is the number one reason most Christians refuse to fully surrender their lives to God. Come on, you have to admit there is a little part of you that’s holding back from becoming a radical follower of Jesus because your fear of ending up in Africa, right? J
I can remember back to February 23, 1997 when for the first time I fully surrendered my life to God. In my prayer I told God that my life was his; whatever he wanted me to do, wherever he wanted me to go, I was willing—even if it was to Africa. Well, what I’ve discovered since is that when God sends a person on mission, the first thing he does is to give that person a passion and desire to go to the place he is sending them.
As I grew in my love for God I kept telling him that I was ready to go, and yet all I could sense in my spirit was that God wanted me to stay right at the feedlot I was working and become a missionary to the truck drivers that would deliver the hay, the feed ingredients, and the livestock. And so that’s what I did; for four years I saw myself as “a person who was sent on a mission” by God to anyone who drove on the yard at Deluxe Feeds Feedlot.
Being a missionary isn’t something that should seem foreign to us as a follower of Jesus. I would guess most of us know the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20. Jesus said to his disciples—he says to you and me—“Therefore go and make disciples of all peoples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
The good news for you might be that God is not calling you to go to Africa; however, he is calling you to bring the gospel to those in your circle of influence. You have connections to unsaved people that I will never get to talk to. You have the peace and hope so many people are looking for.
My prayer for you is that if you don’t already, that you would begin to see yourself as a missionary. In fact, over the next year, I’ve asked Erin to list you and your family as the “Missionary of the Week.” Eventually you will see your name printed in the prayer section of the bulletin. Be assured of my prayer for you as you bring God’s love to your mission field.
Laboring for the harvest,