We’re talking this month about the Great Commission: “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19-20). For some, that means traveling to the nations.
But what about when the nations come to you?
WHO ARE THE NATIONS?
Actually the word “nations” is translated from the Greek word ethnos, meaning: a race, a tribe, foreigners, Gentiles, heathens.
Was Jesus saying they were to tell others who were “not like them” about Him?
Doesn’t He also want us to tell others who are “not like us” about Him? Everyone needs to hear. Everyone needs to tell.
WHERE ARE THE NATIONS?
We don’t have to board a plane to find the nations. We’re with others not like us all the time. We work in the same offices; our kids go to the same schools; we show up at the same sporting events; we may even share the same pew on Sunday mornings.
Our skin color may or may not look different; we may or may not speak the same language; our socioeconomic status may or may not differ.
But if one of us knows Jesus and the other does not, that’s who we’re called to “go” to.
HOW DO I GO?
You’ll go differently in every relationship, but some similarities might include:
- Go with food
Feed a family. How often do we eat only with our family or best friends? Can we occasionally invite someone different to the table? It’s a great place in every culture to hear others’ hearts and share our own.
- Go with service
Step outside church walls and see the needs of your community. Volunteer at a non-profit; join a community book club; play on your company’s ball team. While our church families make great company, we’re called to be the light of the world, not just lights in the sanctuary (Matthew 5:14-16). God gets the glory when we reflect Him in the city.
- Go with money
Give locally. When you can, help the poor among you. My city is blessed with a local ministry similar to World Vision. At Christmas we were able to give a hand-wrapped present face-to-face to the beautiful girl we sponsor when her family came to pick up the box of food that our sponsorship pays for each month.
- Go with conversation
Talk to the regulars. Who do you see during your weekly routine that you still don’t know? Be intentional about learning names and interests. The grandmother beside you on the bleachers may be desperately lonely for the discussion you can bring. Relationships are built one conversation at a time. What begins with soccer schedules can end up with sharing Jesus.
- Go with compassion
Educate yourself on cultures. Several Hispanic families speak no English at our local food pantry. With minimal effort, I learned the Spanish words for items they repeatedly ask for. Maybe you could reach neighborhood teens by learning what snacks they like or what movies they watch. Leaning into others’ interests is a great way to care and open avenues for deeper conversations.
BUT AM I QUALIFIED?
Whether God sends you to the nations or sends the nations to you, He’s equipped you to see them, talk to them, give to them. You don’t need an extroverted personality or a degree in Missions or one-way airfare to Africa.
You only need to give what Jesus has given to you:
- company to the lonely
- vision to the blind
- hope to the hurting
- bread to the hungry
- grace to the guilty
Regardless of the nations around you— the depressed, the discriminated against, the broken, the confused—this is your mission field.
When the mission field comes to you, show up in it.
Shine the light of Christ on it.
Love like Jesus among it.
Who is in your mission field in this season?
How can you love them?
Please share in the comments.
5 ways to “go” when the mission field comes to you http://wp.me/p1Su7F-2Oi Ideas from @LisaNotes at @DoNotDepart Click here to tweet this.
“We’re called to be the light of the world, not just lights in the sanctuary.” http://wp.me/p1Su7F-2Oi @DoNotDepart Click here to tweet this.