Not My Job - Our Unconscious Response to Missions
October 17th, 2020
Not My Job! How many times in our work conversations have you heard yourself or a coworker use the phrase, "Not MY JOB!" When it comes to job responsibilities we do not like or do not view as related to our role, we are quick to voice this claim. And while I would venture to say that most Jesus followers would never come out and say this about missions, many are unconsciously living by this very saying. Once again, let us start off by looking at Merriam-Webster's definition of a missionary and the assumptions that come along with it.
A missionary is a person who is sent to a foreign country to do religious work (such as to convince people to join a religion or to help people who are sick, poor, etc.)
Merriam-Webster's Learning Dictionary
As I mentioned in my post, The Qualifications To Be A Missionary, this definition comes with some basic assumptions.
To Be a Missionary One Must:
- Be sent to a foreign country.
- Do religious work.
- Be there to help the sick or poor.
- Be convincing people to join a religion.
Not My Job Mentality
While this common view as described by Merriam-Webster about missionaries is partially true, this seems to be one of the most limiting perspectives about missionaries. In the western world, we see missionaries as selfless individuals who exist to minister to those who cannot meet their most basic need of food, clothing, or shelter. I’m not here to suggest that as believers we should not be doing these things, but what I hope to do is to widen your perspective on who a missionary is and what a missionary does.
Our Need For Simple Definitions
People like simple, clear definitions to help us quickly understand what something is or what something does. Our brains are wired in this way and this drives us to come up with simple definitions to describe things or people. And while these simple definitions are useful while learning something new or to quickly remember something, they do have their disadvantages. These simple definitions can potentially limit our perspective or cause us to discriminate against groups of people.
Not My Job
One of the biggest injustices for the Kingdom of God is for those who follow Jesus to assume that they are not included in the definition of a missionary. In today’s terminology, this attitude would equate to a common phrase that somehow this is “Not My Job” as a Believer. And while this simple view is convenient for excluding us from evangelical work for God’s Kingdom, it is not Biblically accurate.
Our Calling As Believers
There are certain truths which apply to every follower of Jesus. These are the basics of what it means to walk with God. In 1 Peter 3:15, God calls us to be ready to give an answer for our hope. God calls us to be generous and give to those we see in need (1 Timothy 6:18). In (Hebrews 10:24-25), God calls us to encourage and raise up other believers(Hebrews 10:24-25). God calls us to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth(Acts 1:8, Mark 16:15). And while God calls us to these things and more, never does he say this is reserved only for a select group of Believers. In the Bible, God never says he reserves this calling for the pastors, teachers, or priests. This is for EVERYONE who follows Jesus.
“Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.”
1 Peter 3:15 NLT
A Change In Perspective
Now this does not mean that we all need to board a plane for a third world country. My hope is that this causes you to stop and think about your calling. It does mean that we(you and I) need to take a second look at where God has called us to be his representative. We should not over complicate this by thinking we need to find God’s calling for our life. It is simply where God has called you to represent Christ today. This is something God calls us to each and every day. The main thing we need to change here is our perspective. The second thing is for us to be willing to follow where God calls you.
Where or How Has God Called You to Represent Christ Today? Now I know it is tempting, but do not over-complicate this. Maybe start your day by asking God to show you where He wants to use you today?
God forgive us for excluding ourselves from representing you in our communities or around the world. Where are you calling me today? Help me to see opportunities to be your representative today. Give me your eyes to see those in my path who need you.
'“No, go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him.' (Luke 8:39 NIV)