I like to say that I was never “called” to be become a missionary. It confuses some people. “Why would you do that with your life if you weren’t supposed to?” That’s the confusion right there. “Called” and “supposed to” aren’t the same thing. And I actually think that neither one is right when you look at what God’s Word says about the matter.
Two keystone passages of Scripture especially illustrate this. Matthew 28:19, 20 drop a cyclical instruction, an order that’s meant to continually be repeated by everyone whose life is changed because of it. If each person who hears and believes the teachings of Jesus Christ really obeys it, they then find a way to “go therefore.” And the cycle repeats. It’s not a special calling. It’s unavoidable.
2 Corinthians 5:14, 15 teaches us about a love that should warp the trajectory of our lives. In the NKJV the phrase “the love of Christ compels us” pushes away notions of waiting for a call. Instead, sacrificial love should propel us into service as “ministers” of reconciliation. And when you combine that with the “where” in Jesus’ final words in Matthew — “into all the world” — you get where I’m going here?
I grew up in a solid home where parents made building blocks of understanding God’s grace and salvation readily available for the building of a foundation for life. I knew as I made my way into the grownup world of my early college years that I would probably head into some ministry role in my future. But not trusting myself to make the decision on what role, I went to Bible college.
It was at then-New Tribes Bible Institute where I was adding to my Biblical foundations that I had my life trajectory altered in a big way. When missionary after missionary in chapel, in class and around the campus challenged me with the reality of unreached people groups and of how little work was being done to reach them, I realized I had a choice to make.
I could take the new facts I possessed and ignore them, even though I was a member of a very small segment of people who had a grasp of how many people were truly in the dark about Truth, and head into a career of my own choosing. Or I could act on the new truth I possessed and do something about it. In the end, I felt a great sense of accountability to the facts. The stark reality is that whole people groups are living and dying, eternally separated from their Creator.
In the end, I felt a great sense of accountability to the facts. The stark reality is that whole people groups are living and dying, eternally separated from their Creator.
I knew that this has been happening for literally hundreds of generations. That’s not easily ignorable. So, I took my next step — and got married 😉 — but chose to make my life — the prime career phase of my life — about stopping that cycle of life and death and eternal separation for even just one of the thousands of people groups still unreached.