Living Sent


Living Sent

March 1, 2019

Living Sent

Redefining Normal in the Scheme of Missions

Missions used to exist in my mind as a category separate from what normal Christians do. As a kid, I understood missions to be something reserved for the brave who were willing to give up their lives, comfort, and country for the sake of the Gospel. In Sunday school, it was a topic that came up once a year during missions week, and was always accompanied by courageous tales of Hudson Taylor and Adoniram Judson going by ship to new and mysterious places. As I got older, this impression was seared in my mind by the graphics chosen for missions trip advertisements, typically involving compasses, maps, airplanes, and above all, by the word “go” (apparently the only word worth printing from Matthew 28:19) printed on every missions trip t-shirt I owned.


To me, full time missions was an adventure reserved for the most pious, and above all, the called.

Now, having worked as a missionary for four years, my perception of missions bears no resemblance to the picture presented to me as I was growing up. The compasses, maps, airplanes, and going all ended after a twelve hour plane ride. I hadn’t anticipated the staying that followed the going. The squiggly characters that were once a beautiful mystery to me became words on a phone bill. I went to the grocery store to buy eggs, put gas in the car, and paid rent. Before I knew it, I was living the same life I was living before, only in a different part of the world. More importantly, I began to see the people around me less as those I was sent to minister to, but as my roommates, my neighbors, my barista, my landlord, and my friends— all of which I had back in the States. Sharing the love of Christ with them didn’t feel like a mission as much as it felt like normal life- something I would naturally do anywhere. After the first three months, I began to realize that my new normal was surprisingly similar to my old normal. I began to understand that being a missionary does not mean giving up normal life. It certainly doesn’t necessitate moving to the other side of the world.


Missions is intentionally living in a way that you believe will allow you to be best used by God for the furthering of the missio dei.


Is this not something all Christians ought to be doing? There’s nothing extra spiritual about leaving one’s country of origin for another place, and in many people’s cases, it isn’t even best. If missions is simply intentional living, every decision we make should be missional. In our job hunting, are we considering the potential for ministry? In our apartment hunting? In the coffee shops we go to? In which line we choose at the grocery store? Intentional living is missional living. It’s actually pretty normal, but yes, it is exciting.


Josh, DTS Bookstore

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