If you’ve been a Christian for a while, I’m sure you’ll have heard some amazing, perhaps crazy, stories about missionaries. These guys are out there, risking it all. Learning new languages, crossing new barriers, helping the sick, touching the untouchable…all in the strength and the name of Christ, and with the sole intent of sharing the gospel.
Missionaries are some of my favorite people too – they’re the kindest, loving, and selfless people you could meet. In fact, my best friend happens to be an M.K. (missionary kid). His family are currently planting and building up a church about 30 km from where I currently live.
Oh hey, I’m Kendal, and I live in Johannesburg: a beautiful city in South Africa with an incredible amount of diversity. Want to meet an Indian? We got ‘em! Chinese, Portuguese, African – you name it, we’ll probably have an entire community of them. Not only do we have ethnic diversity, but also diversity in our living standard. In some parts of our city, we have futuristic buildings with the latest technology and some of the fastest internet in the world; but drive 20 km out and you’re met with dire poverty: hundreds of thousands of not only starving, but unreached people.
Unreached: the state of a community or person who doesn’t have access to the saving message of Christ because of oppression, persecution, or simply lack of access.
Let’s step aside for a second…we all know of the great commission Jesus assigned to us, to share the gospel to the world, right? That happened about 2000 years ago – it can seem so far-fetched sometimes, just another Bible Story. But have you ever wondered how far that’s gotten? How much of the world still needs to be reached?
Forty-two-point-one percent. That’s literally almost half the world.
I don’t know about you, but when I read that statistic, I was shocked. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the internet itself has only been around for 30 odd years. The world is shrinking rapidly, but there are still 3.14 billion people on this planet who don’t know of the Bible, the incredible comfort of His love.
One of the benefits of living in South Africa, is that our mission trips have the privilege of serving in these poverty-stricken areas. And let me tell you, there’s absolutely nothing like seeing it firsthand. These people are living from day to day, in constant fear of what might come next. Life is a constant struggle against abuse of different types. I haven’t experienced the least of it, but the mission trips that I’ve been on have most definitely been enough for me to question my life from beginning to end.
Because these people are hungry. They’re starving for hope, for something that will give them comfort and solace. And we know the gospel message is more than enough, but honestly, you haven’t seen anything until you’ve shared the gospel with a person who’s hanging on every word as if it were their last hope.
“Now what” you might ask. “Does any of this have to do with the title of this article?”
Well here’s the thing: nowhere in the Bible are we told it’s okay not to be missionaries. In fact, we’re called to deny our worldly identity, offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, and follow Him (Romans 12:1, Matt. 16:23). This modern-day Christian idea of sitting in Church on a Sunday, and that being enough, is if I may venture thus far, completely unbiblical. We are called to be Christ-like, to love as Christ did (hint: He literally died for us because He loves us).
“Fair point,” you might say. “But I’m a student/single mother/working…are you saying I should leave everything and go help people in China?”
If that’s where you believe you’re being called, then yes. But if you were to ask me what kind of missionary I was, what if I were to reply with this:
Because here’s one more thing: How much more important are the unreached than the unsaved?
A Call To Action
Have a good, hard look at your life. How can you be an effective missionary? Remember, God gave us the church as an opportunity for us to be involved in ministry, too.
And last but not least, I urge you, challenge you, to apply this post to your life.