I’ve been thinking…what is it to be a missionary? What does it mean to be missionary minded?
A lot of people say Well I am not called to do that. However, that’s not quite right. The Bible says if you are born again you are called to reconcile people to God. I’m not a betting man, but if I were, i’d assume a good majority of you reading this, right now, are born again. So, according to scripture, you don’t need a calling. It’s just a part of what we do, it’s in our DNA of being a believer. We’re reconciling this world to God, bringing it closer to God through the Lord, Jesus Christ.
I looked up missionary, and wondered where in the world it came from. Obviously, the word mission, it comes from the Latin word, “missio.” It means, “a sent one, the act of sending.” Those that are in the mission work are to get individuals born again, and after that, plant churches so the new believers have somewhere to go-a Body of Christ they can attach themselves to. Many times, people have gone to big events and have received the Lord Jesus, then not plugged in to a local church. Listen to me when I say, you need the local church.
If there’s anything wrong with some major television ministries, it is they want to be everything to you need. They can not be, because they are not the local church. They’re a television ministry, which envolves, evangelism and missionaries, but they’re not the local church.
The Bible says in Matthew 16:18, that the gates of hell shall not prevail against my church.
The Bible didn’t say non-governmental organization, it says the gates of hell shall not prevail against my church. So, when somebody goes into the mission field, it’s for saving the lost. It could be translating the Bible into local dialects and languages, or Bible teachers. It could be medical missions, bringing medical help to many nations over seas. It could be a feeding programs, or a ministry bringing the good news.
My friend, Brother Tim Johnson, down in the Dominican, goes with his family on vacations to China and Thailand. On these vacations, they don’t know the local language-they’re only fluent in English and Spanish. Believe me, those are not Chinese…or Thai. So what do they do? They go there and pass out thousands, and no exaggeration, thousands of tracts. One. At. A. Time.
Years ago, when the Olympics were in Mexico, my father, Dr. Sumrall, wanted to make sure that there was a spiritual significance to those who came to Mexico City, in the late 60’s. He made up a track called, “You Hold the Reigns,” and had it translated into five different languages on one pamphlet. He knew he couldn’t hand out over a million tracks by himself, nobody can. So, he paid Brother Glen a salary to go down to Mexico City and help pass out the tracts and organize local churches for that one purpose of passing those out to over a million people that were going to be there. Also, the local churches plugged in, to bring those people into the house of God.
I went out one day with Brother Glen, with bags and bags of tracks in the car. When they ran out of a bag, they’d run to the car a grab another. He was passing them out like they were hot cakes! Street corners, the Olympic Village, everywhere! I said to him, “Who do you talk to when you’re giving the tracks out like that?” He replied, “Anybody who stops and asks a question.” I thought, that’s a little too simple, Brother Glen. I asked, “How do you know you’re supposed to talk to somebody about what you just gave them?” He replied, “Anybody who takes time to actually look at it, and asks me a question, that’s who the Lord wants me to talk to. Other than that, they’re going to get this and read it later.”
That is another example of missionary work.
There are a lot of people who raise funds to be missionaires, that I wouldn’t consider missionaries at all. There were people that were janitors, an organist, printing press printers, and secretaries, all put under the category of “helps.” So if you’re very strict about it, it is the one who goes and publishes. In an apostolic mentality of going, getting them lost, planting a pastor, and seeing a work raised up. Then, believers are in there duplicating themselves. The broader sense of mission work, is that everybody goes and brings the good news to the captives. Amen?
There’s one man who wrote the book about angels. He said the Lord told him to buy a plane ticket to Asia.
He said, “I don’t know anybody in Asia!”
Lord said, “Go buy a ticket to go to Asia.”
Man: “I don’t have much money, so i’m going to buy a cheap seat.”
Lord: “No, I want you to buy at least a business class ticket.”
Man: “Lord, that costs a lot of money and I don’t have anyone to meet over there.”
Finally, he agreed that’s what he should do. He did it. He flew, business class, to Asia, and there was a man right beside him as lost as could be. He had been in the church as a child, slid backwards, and turned his back on God. Every single spiritual thing he fed him, the man was eating it up. Eating up the word of God. His life was a mess. He was crying, absolutely sobbing, in the business class plane seat. The Lord said, “Alright, that is why I sent you on this airplane. You can now go home.”
The Lord can send you half way around the world, for one person. You know why? Because God loves us all. He loves us so much, He sent His son, from heaven. Why is it so outlandish to believe that He can send someone to you, or you to someone.
There are many people that need to be set free. We as believers are called to bring them the Good News that will set them FREE, Body, Soul, Spirit.