A Christian mission involves sending individuals and groups of believers, called missionaries, to parts of the world where others have not heard about the Lord. These evangelical Christians travel across the world, (most commonly internationally) to carry on evangelism to different nations of the world.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.Matthew 28:19-20
Defining Christian Missions
Christian missionaries are obeying Christ, sharing Christ, and relying on Christ alone. The Lord sends missionaries through that support of the church to the unreached. All followers of Christ have the mission of reconciliation (which means that all believers should prioritize helping lost people through their past regrets and mistakes bringing hope into their lives by introducing Christ and his mercy for all of humanity).
There are a few different kinds of mission trips: short-term, long-term, relational and ones meant simply for helping people in need. Some might choose to dedicate their whole lives to missions as well. Missionaries have the authority to preach the Christian faith and help by providing humanitarian aid and services.
Missions are described as walking into a completely different reality where each believer has to adapt to, such as waiting for their bodies to adapt to the new environment, food, apparel, etc. Moving to a different country is not easy for missionaries; from learning a new language to figuring out how to live in a lifestyle that has many different resources.
Types of Christian Mission Trips
- Early Childhood Education
- Social Justice
- Business as Missions
- Church Building
- Medical Missions
Christian missions isn’t simply a trip to a different country to tell non-believers about the Great Commission. However, Missionaries who congregate from an organization or church group set foot on a plane following and obeying God’s command. They dive into a whole new culture and have to learn how to adapt to new surroundings.
There are many speculations about missions. SInce Others believe that mission trips are either a complete waste of resources or that Christian missionaries only travel overseas to spread the gospel.
Christian Missions Vs. Missions
Christian Missions and broad missions are distinctively different and similar at the same time. A missionary is someone who crosses cultural barriers in order to share the gospel and make disciples, or a missionary is a person who leaves everything behind and goes overseas to serve the Lord in a foreign cultural context and share His love with others.
Christian missions are different from the general subject of mission because Christian missionaries go to proclaim the gospel by helping, serving, and caring for the different nations. They build friendships, learn an entirely different language, and serve with a compassionate, inspired, and motivated heart.
The servant’s heart means to help others in love without expecting something in return, serving in appreciation of the gifts God has already given them.
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.Galatians 5:13
Other missions go overseas to love and care for other countries, but they don’t have the heart for the Lord. They help build schools, plant trees, site see, etc. However, they don’t show other’s the Lord’s name. Even though providing services and love to different countries in poverty, non-religious missions miss the entire point. God wants His people (who He created with His own hands through nothing but dust) to a show His truth. The entire reason why humanity, animals, plants, anything exists. He also wants everyone to help bring other continents hope and love through His name, not under their own name. No one should be taking credit for all of the amazing things that the Lord has done, not an imparticular person.
Types of Christian Missionaries
There are many different types of Christian missionaries in the world. Believers who are commanded to go to the nations and spread the gospel are pursuing the mission that is God’s master plan. Some missionaries stay where they are from to go to their part of town that radiates a different religion.
However, others say that being a missionary who goes to a different country and culture humbles and shows a person how privileged they are. They become more grounded by helping out and showing God’s truth to other nations.
- Homeland Missionaries
- Overseas Missionaries
- Evangelistic Missionaries
- Need-Based Missionaries
Biblical Examples of Christian Missions and Missionaries
God can call us to work at a specific trade while calling His followers to be missionaries. All Christians can devote themselves to the Great Commission of spreading the gospel.
Whether you’re staying in your home state or if you are going on a plane to a completely different cultural context, all Christians have been commissioned to take part in fulfilling the Great Commission. Here are a few examples with Biblical context describing the importance of every type of missionary.
For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’Acts 13:47
Types of Missionaries & Biblical Examples
Homeland missionaries are people who stay in their home country and work on a cause or mission, usually in the name and service of their religion. These missionaries can be pastors, representatives or members of their place of worship or anyone who wants to make a difference.
Being a Christian missionary doesn’t always mean traveling to developing countries. Being a missionary means taking on the mission of spreading the gospel—which is something all Christians are all called to do. Pursuing missions isn’t always about leaving their hometown, because in some places, a different culture and religion could be next door from where they are at. Sometimes, a missionary stays right where they are and use the gifts God has given them.
The reason why is because the door of opportunity opens and they have that chance to spread the gospel into that unique part of town. The Lord does not always call every follower of His to leave their nation to go to a different one because their nation may have a different religion that could potentially hear the gospel and accept Christ into their hearts. Sometimes He commands them to stay where they are at so they can share the truth of forgiveness, sin, and salvation to someone right down the street from them.
The Biblical character of Dorcas (also called Tabitha) was able to pursue her God-given gifts while being a missionary at home.
Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity.Acts 9:36
Dorcas lives in Joppa—a town that’s primarily inhabited by Gentiles (non-Jewish people). (Joppa ultimately ended up being a focus of Peter’s ministry.) For Dorcas, Joppa was her mission field. In her philanthropy, she was sharing the gospel by simply loving and serving people. Like Tabitha, God can call us to work at a specific trade, while calling us to be missionaries. We can devote ourselves to the mission of spreading the gospel while having an occupation. After all, Tabitha has the gift of being a good seamstress, but the Lord also calls her to serve the people around her with that gift.
Overseas Christan missionaries are those most commonly thought of when someone hears the word “missionary.” These missionaries travel abroad and live in a particular foreign country, often to evangelize and/or help people in need. Most overseas missionaries are sent by a particular nonprofit group or religious organization, which helps to raise support and prayer for the missionary’s efforts. Short-term missions typically last for a few months and can lead to long-term work that could extend indefinitely.
Overseas Christian missionaries stay from a time period and have to learn how to adapt to a completely different culture. Whether that is a dramatic change in temperature, cleanliness of the air, their diet, type of clothing they wear, etc. Most importantly, overseas missionaries have to learn the language so they can explain the love and mercy that Christ has for their sins and wrong-doings. Most missionaries learn how to share a brief testimony of their faith in the traditional language of the site that they are at. They devote hours having to live a normal life, like anyone from that culture, by ordering food in a restaurant, grocery shopping, and conversing with others in their village/town/city.
In the book of Acts in the Holy Bible, Paul the Apostle traveled from Antioch to Cyprus then into southern Asia Minor (Anatolia), and finally returning to Antioch. Paul (and his travel companions ) sailed to Perga an ancient Greek city in Anatolia. Paul ventured alone, following God’s commands to Greece, Jerusalem, Rome, etc. to proclaim the Gospel.
Pual, in captivity multiple times and even faced death more than once. However, even though he’s being persecuted for his faith in the Lord, he still persevered through condemnation and almost being a martyr. He traveled across the lands and waters to obey what the Lord almighty told him to do. He went wherever God wanted Him to go and share the good news with all the different nations.
But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.Acts 20:24
The main objective of evangelistic missionaries is to convert people to a particular religion. The focus of their work is to preach and teach in areas where people may have never heard their religious messages before. Many evangelistic missionaries go door to door, hold crusades and organize public demonstrations. While many evangelistic missionaries are involved in some aspect of helping people in need, their main objective is to spread their religious message and convert.
Saint Peter, one of Jesus’s 12 disciples, wrote two Epistles in the Bible talking about persecution from having the Christian faith. However, he also mentions that all followers of Christ should answer all questions regarding their faith. All believers should have the heart of caring and love to answer any conspicuous questions that someone has questioning the Lord and why they should follow Him. This is another door of opportunity to share the good news and the miraculous blessings that the Lord has blessed you in your time being.
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.1 Peter 3:15
Need-based missionaries focus mainly on helping people in their area. While evangelism is a part of their service, meeting the needs of the people is their primary goal. These missionaries start orphanages, build churches, and community centers to distribute medical supplies and help provide food and water for people in need.
Jesus healed so many different people in the Bible. From men with leprosy to reconciling vision of a blind man. Missionaries bring forth the idea of unity, healing, volunteering and caring for the lost. There are several nations that are in poverty and need a source of food, water, vaccines, etc. In this day and age, Jesus is known as perfect, and His followers are meant to strive to be like Him every day. Believers not only proclaim the Great Commission, but they also take care of and on the other nations.
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.1 Peter 2:24
Why Do Christians Become Missionaries?
To Share the Gospel
A missionary’s main role is to use every opportunity available to share the gospel with the non-believers they encounter. Missionaries do this by teaching others about their religion, testimony, beliefs, and experience in their faith. Christians may do this formally through sermons and lectures or through talking one-on-one with others about their experiences with their love of Christ and the blessings that they have been given.
For Community Building
Community building is a field of practices directed toward the creation or enhancement of community among individuals within a regional area or with a common need or interest. Missionaries use their individual education and skillsets in unique ways during being on a mission trip or volunteering in their home state.
For instance, a missionary who served as a teacher in her home country may serve as a school teacher in the mission country, or someone who worked as an architect back home may help a community establish a safe drinking water source or build safe housing in the mission country. Others who do not have specialized education and training can help to pursue where they’re needed, such as passing out meals or providing childcare. Christian missionaries help build communities by providing their services and volunteering to support an organization or a business.
To Develop Friendships
When you are a Christian missionary, be prepared and willing to share about your family, your pain and your needs. You have the chance to share honestly and vulnerably. This is by explaining your testimony and opening up to the people on the field about your hardships and how you have reconciled and won victory over your past issues, insecurities, and obstacles, by having faith in the Lord. When you are a Christian missionary, you prioritize building relationships over completing projects. This means that you care more about loving others and showing God’s grace than seeing lost people and a project. These others are not a charity case or a mission. They are real people who want to find an inch of hope in their dark, lost and faithless environment.
They Rely Only on God
Sharing the gospel humbly, boldly, and passionately is our Christian mission. But we cannot do it alone. The power and results of Christian missions come from the Lord. He gives us the wisdom, strength, and desire to witness! Through our witness, He works repentance and faith in the sinner’s heart. Although missions are ultimately God’s work, Christians are responsible to understand and share the gospel and to have a strong relationship with Christ. Such relationship guards against hypocrisy. Jesus assured us that suffering would accompany missions, but God uses even suffering for good.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28
How to Get Involved with Christian Missions
Now since you are informed about Christian missions and the significant role that Jesus gave his followers, it’s now time to inscribe what you, yourself can do. What role can you do in order to be a part of global evangelization? If you call yourself a follower of Christ, you have to be engaged in global evangelization. So what is your role?
There are basically six distinctive roles that Christians can pursue to be in missions: Goers, Senders, Interceders, Mobilizers, Enablers, and Greeters. Every Christian is commanded to be a missionary, and each of these roles make-up an entire team to complete the Lord’s master plan. While you may play more than one role in God’s plan throughout your life, as a Christian, you should always be involved in one or more of these roles.
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”Luke 9:23
1. The Goer
First, are the Goers, these are individuals who have been called by God to go, to leave the comforts of this society to cross-cultural barriers and take the plan of God’s good news to the four corners of the earth. They’re called to sacrifice their comforts, preferences and even lives for the gospel. It’s important to remember that God only has one Son and he made him a missionary. So if God calls you to be a Goer (a missionary), then don’t stoop to be a king. As Jim Elliot said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep gaining what he cannot lose.”
Being a ‘goer’ does not necessarily mean that you are the main portion of the team. Each group has its own responsibilities. However, as a ‘goer’, you are the face of the organization or group that helped send you. This means that when you take a leap of faith and pursue the destination that you are going to, you have to act and respond in a Godly way. Each person that lives on your mission site is going to evaluate and analyze everything that you say and do. They are going to look at you and see what makes you different from every other people group. Being a Christian means that your purpose is to be intentionally different and unique. Your faith and grace show through the emotion, reactions, and actions that you motivate.
2. The Sender
Secondly, are the Senders. These are gifted by God to make large amounts of money to finance the mission. They have to be very cautious that they are not swept away by the wealth that God entrusted to them. They are called by God to go into business and use the skills He’s given to them to make large sums of money that are specifically intended to fund the Plan.
If the ‘sender’ was not a part of the missions team, no ‘goer’ would be able to reach their destination. The senders are the Christians who have a way of fundraising and using their strategic skills to raise up a significant amount of money. They are the reason that the missionaries that choose to go overseas have a plane ticket, luggage tags, food, necessities, a place to stay, etc. They are the entire reason that all mission trips happen.
3. The Mobilizer
Third, are the Mobilizers are those called to rally the masses. These missionaries have the gift to speak and help spark the movement. They receive an effective voice, a vision to see the mission completed and the ability to train others to understand God’s plan and how they can be involved. Mobilizers must study and be ready to speak. They also must be cautious that they don’t get comfortable living in this society and forget what God’s true plan is.
The mobilizers are the Christians who have the gift of leading and teaching. These followers mainly either travel or are the encouragers of the team. They love to bring the negative environment up and make it more lively and positive. Mobilizers are futuristic and see a clear vision of what God wants them to create. Whether those accomplishments be training, ministering, or encouraging. These believers will always stay involved and engaged in the Lord’s master plan.
4. The Intercessor
Fourthly, are the nterceders are called to pray sincerely and deeply for the mission. They don’t just pray ‘now I lay me down to sleep’ type prayers, though. Interceders study the world and commit to praying for people of the world in a serious determined and focused way.”
The intercessors of the missions team spend a lot of one-on-one time with the Lord. They seek and pray for something for each missionary that goes on the field. These teammates will pray for protection, financial stability, healing, and spiritual warfare. They pray before, during, and even after a mission trip. Interceders also pray for more than missionaries. These Christians will pray for poverty, injustice in the world, the economy, society, etc. They ask the Lord what He should put on their heart and then they pray for everyone and everything.
5. The Enabler
Next are the Enablers who make it possible for all of us to be involved in global evangelization. Usually, Enablers involve the government or politics, working to ensure freedom for those of us who continue to go. They also work to bring freedom to those who need to be reached by opening the doors to other countries. These different nations are currently closed to the gospel.
If it wasn’t for the enablers of the team, not many nations would be reached and taught the good news. These imparticular missionaries stay behind the scenes and are more secretive so they can open doors of opportunity. They find different loopholes to send the ‘goers’ to reach that secret destination and proclaim the Gospel.
6. The Greeter
After, is the Greeter. All of us here in the United States have the opportunity to be Greeters. Greeters welcome visitors and immigrants to the United States, helping them feel wanted. There was a young man who came to the United States. He went to college a number of years ago and thought that the US was a Christian nation. During his stay, no one ever welcomed him, invited him into their home, or showed him hospitality. By the time he left the United States, he had determined he hated Christianity and the U.S. That he would spend the rest of his life trying to destroy both. He later became the dictator of Cuba. His name was Fidel Castro.
The greeters are the Christians who have travelers, visitors, and immigrants who have entered into their home country feel like they are welcomed and accepted. They love the ones who care for and create relationships with these particular people while they live or are visiting that country. These greeters love to talk and spend time with refugees, immigrants, and travelers. Getting to know these people also gives the greeters the first impression of their home country and opens doors to an opportunity to share the gospel with them.
Where to Start
Where do you begin when wanting to pursue missions? First off, look for a location that the Lord wants you to pursue by prayerfully asking Him. Second, do a lot of research to see where you should go and who you should go with.
1. Find a Location
First, the step would be to communicate with the Lord, look, and research where He wants you to serve. There is a variety of different mission programs, organizations, training schools, and countries that you should communicate with God to see where exactly He wants you to go.
Locations for Christian Missions:
- North America
- South America
Also, seek the Lord’s wisdom and request the length He wants you to go. You could go on the mission field for the time periods ranging from 1 week to several years. See exactly where God wants you by prayerfully asking Him where He wants you to go.
2. Research Programs and Missions
Secondly, this step can be a bit tricky. Finding the perfect program for you is not going to be easy. Research and look up different places that provide missions programs. You could either go with a church group for a short-term or go long-term with an agency or university program.
Look for universities that have missions as part of their courses, churches that are raising money, or apply to volunteer with an agency.
In conclusion, joining missions is a significant part of the Christian life. The Lord’s master plan is to bring the Gospel to all nations and share His truth. All believers are assigned to have every person know, learn, accept, and live in the Father’s grace. If you are wondering if you want to pursue missions for the Lord, look at your strong suites and see what you love to do. Is it traveling, fundraising, praying, etc?
Take time with the Lord and seek where He wants you to go or what He is telling you to do. After all, the book of James says it all. Praying is the main superpower that all believers have to communicate with the Lord.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.James 5:16