Your mission field is America. I realize that this may not be welcomed by some. Because it is much easier, tempting, and fulfilling, to catch a plane or bus to some foriegn land and teach destitute people about Jesus. Somehow, it is more convienient to book a mission trip to some 3rd world African nation and bring the Gospel to the hungry masses of people who have never heard the Gospel. It’s easier for us, and way more glamorous to say “Oh, I witnessed to 13,000 Swahili speaking unsaved people” than to say, “I witnessed to my boss at work.” It’s much more thrilling to spend $40 to donate a goat to a child’s family in Guatamala, than it is to buy a $10 Bible and $12 lunch, and give it to a struggling homeless person. Or even more difficult, spend some time getting to know that person. We modern day Christians have decided to take the easy road.
Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t do foreign missions. After all, the Bible does say that we should preach the Gospel to EVERYONE, everywhere. But it’s a cop-out for some of us. For those of us who are not CALLED to do missions overseas (i.e., God has not assigned you to the foriegn mission field), it is very glittery and glamorous to do overseas missions. It’s cool to take a sabbatical from work and visit orphans in Honduras. It’s the “hipster Christian” thing to do to go to Israel and study abroad for a year. It’s the “sacrificial” and “noble” thing to sell everything you have and move to Etheopia to work with sick people who need Jesus. And that is a noble work. It is noble, necessary, and rightfully commended. But you have to be called for it.
You, as a modern American, who is a Christian, cannot decide to get into foriegn missions because it is easier. We as Christians are attracted to overseas missions because it is an “easy sell”. We know that all we’ve got to do is show up in some small villiage in Asia with clean water, some food, clothing, and tell them Jesus loves them, and BAM! We’ve got converts. As I said before, this kind of missionary work is necesarry, comendable, and wonderful. But not everyone of us is called to do that. Who will stay here? Who will do missionary work right here in America? No, we don’t want to do that. That isn’t fun. That doesn’t stamp our passports or give us cute stories to tell about orphans we’ve befriended and miracle healings we’ve seen take place in rural underground churches. That doesn’t get us featured in Voice of the Martyrs or profiled on the 700 Club.
We modern Christians want our conversions the way we want our food: fast. We want the glamerous, gritty, easy conversions that come from people who have never heard the Gospel or seen it in action. We don’t want to mess with the backsliders, the athiests, agnostics, LGBT, Wiccan or spiritual crowds. We don’t want to get our hands dirty spiritually; we’d rather get our hands dirty physically. It scares us to think about witnessing to those who know the bible. It scares to witness to the logical, scientific crowd. It frustrates us to witness to those who already say they’re Christians but their lives say otherwise. We’re afraid of rejection. We’re afraid that, perhaps we aren’t as strong in our faith as we think we are. We’re afraid to rock the boat. We’re afraid to be politically incorrect. We’re afraid to stand for holiness.
We’ll picket abortion clinics, sponsor a child for $0.50 a day, but we won’t invite our neighbors to church for fear of rejection. Because maybe we’ll discover that the America we complain about, is the result of our inactivity. Maybe we’ll discover that the immorality in America wasn’t caused by Bush 1 or 2. Or even Obama. Or Harry Reid. Or the Clintons. Or CNN. Or even by the LGBT groups. Or by SuperPacs. Or by the super-ultra rich. Maybe if we stay here and work in our own mission field, we’ll discover that the decline in America didn’t come from the sinners and nonbelievers – it came from believers doing nothing. Passive, wimpy, whiny, materialistic, uncaring, scared believers sitting back on church pews doing NOTHING.
Pastors and missionaries like Saeed Abindini, have been called to reach those overseas. Ministries like Gospel for Asia have been assigned to those regions by God. Does this mean that I can’t help because I’m American? No! Go where you are called. But know that you have a mission field HERE. If all of us Christians get bit by the foriegn missions bug and run overseas, who will preach the Gospel here? Who will show the love of Christ here? Who will reach the weak and the hurting here?
American Christian, don’t glamorize foreign missions and run away to an “easy sell”. Stay here. Witness here. Stand up here. Show Jesus here. It’s hard. The people in America now are desentitized to violence. They’re know-it-alls. They’re more concerned about science, paychecks, and social media than they are about their eternal souls. You will meet opposition. In that aspect, I guess American missions aren’t for every Christian. Your skin may not be tough enough. You will face those who challenge your faith deeper and more harshly than you ever thought imaginable. You will see seemingly-convincing arguments as to why your faith may not be grounded. You will meet violence and irrational behavior from those who claim to be Christians themselves. You will face opposition to everything you say from the media, culture, celebrities, and politics. You will be the voice of one crying in the wilderness, saying, “Jesus is coming! This is the right way! Don’t listen to the lies of society!” And everything that you are saying will be followed with a thousand other voices saying “Jesus was only a man! There is no right way! Don’t listen to the lies of religious windbags!” But you must continue to cry out anyway.
These are people who are choosing to not believe. These are people who are faithless. Those who have tried and failed to establish a connection with God on their own. They are hurt, numb, and stubborn. They’re not stranded in some remote villiage. They’ve got access to technology, research, churches and resources galore. And they’ve chosen not to believe, or perhaps never had the courage to faith. We get scared of that. We watch TV and say “what is this world coming to?” We see news stories and say “if they would just get saved this world would get better”. We watch politicians and say “we need to be one nation under God again”.
Modern American Christians are scared to fight the good fight. We want people to come to us, or we want to push them into salvation. We want to used-car-salesman talk people into Christ. We want to sit back, and wait for the church to be filled. We want to do one door-to-door witness a year and pat ourselves on the back. We think missionary work is an event based work! We think witnessing is something we have to set up an outreach or date and time for!
We’re afraid that we are outnumbered; we are doubtful, weak and timid. This is not our upbringing. Christ was fierce, educated, insightful, wise, well spoken, convincing, genuine, powerful, loving, and generous. We must be the same to persuade this country to see Jesus again.
I have learned, as a modern American Christian, that my job is not to argue. As tempting as it may be to argue with a non-believer, whip out my apologetics books, research everything I can on intelligent design, and try to present evidence for the existence of my Lord, that is not my job. My job is to BECOME evidence. My job is to represent Christ to everyone. Everywhere. All the time.
We’re intimidated and frustrated by other people who claim to be Christians, but don’t act like Christ. We’re afraid to be offensive. “They say they know the Lord so what else can I say..” Our biggest trump card is to invite them to OUR church and hope that OUR church can teach them the right way, because, obviously, according to what we can tell, they aren’t really Christian.
As tempting as it is to argue and fuss, even walk away from, those who claim to be Christians but are anything but, it is not my job to do so. It is my job to be an example, to demonstrate Christ correctly, and allow the Spirit to convict that person. It is not my job to brow-beat, criticize, condemn, hurt, maime, or scar another person emotionally or spiritually to get them to “act” Christian…like me.
NEWSFLASH: Their relationship with God isn’t supposed to look like yours anyway. It’s supposed to look like Christ.
Another note: being an American missionary doesn’t always mean preaching from a pulpit. It doesn’t mean you bouncing from church to church recruiting other Christians to come to your church. It doesn’t mean posting witty things and scriptures on facebook. It doesn’t mean saying “God bless you” when someone sneezes in the Walmart check out line. It doesn’t mean wearing Christian tshirts, hats, bracelets, temporary tattoos, bumperstickers, putting up billboards, or owning every copy of every bible translation ever written.
The American Mission Field is tumultous. It’s hard. It’s gritty. It requires fighting…spiritual warfare. It requires love. SO MUCH love. It requires patience. It doesn’t require money. It doesn’t require a passport. It doesn’t require print materials. It doesn’t require bible college or a tetnus shot. It doesn’t require elaborate churches with massive stage performances.
You want to know what it takes to win America for Christ? You really want to know what it would take for this nation to become one under God? You really want someone to stand up and put an end to the godlessness of America?
I can tell you in one very short sentence what it takes to win the mission field of America.
Every person who claims to be a Christian, acting like Christ, all the time.
If every person who claims to be a Christian in America begins to mold their lives to look like Christ, not just on Sundays, but every day, you would see people saved, you would see change, you would see peace, you would see deliverance. You would see full churches and empty rehab facilities. You would see demons flee, healings, faith increased, homosexual desires dissapear, poverty and hunger destroyed.
You never once saw the Apostles put on fancy shows. You didn’t see them making elaborate arguments (although they did debate, when necessary). You didn’t see them picketing bars and hollering slurs at homosexuals and arguing with each other over trivial doctrinal issues. What did you see them do? They united. They prayed. They fasted. They studied God’s word. They showed love to people. They taught. They lived what they spoke. They were genuine, real, loving, giving, honest, caring, and blunt. They had wisdom, they knew when to keep their mouths shut and when to speak. And you know what else? They were filled with the Holy Spirit and demonstrated his power daily.
You want to know how to turn America around? Get out there and act like Jesus.