Jesus sent the first outreach team – Luke 9:1-2
And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. (Luke 9:1-2)
Have you ever thought about this verse in the context of missions?
As Jesus began His ministry, after choosing His disciples, He assembled the first “outreach team” (the twelve disciples), and sent them out ahead of Him to declare the coming kingdom of God.
Then later, as His ministry team expanded, He sent out another group of seventy-two:
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. (Luke 10:1)
So, apparently Jesus felt that in addition to Him proclaiming the gospel, it would be good to enlist others who were willing to go out and proclaim the good news of the gospel!
Saints, that’s the same model that we use today. God will put a burden on the heart of a believer, the church will come alongside and equip that believer, and then they’ll GO and share the gospel with people who have never heard it.
Yes it takes a certain type of person to go. A person with a pioneering spirit. A person who has a heart for the lost. A person who doesn’t mind giving up some of the comforts of life. A person who can adapt to different cultures. This is why not everyone is called to “go.”
How do you know if God has called you to go? The calling must come from God, but here are a few signs that you might have what it takes…
#1 You have a heart for the lost.
You have a strong desire to tell people you’ve never met about Jesus. Your heart breaks when you think of lost people in other countries.
#2 You have a love for people.
Not matter what someone does to you, you’ll still love them. I think of Jim Elliott, who will killed in Ecuador by the Quechua Indians. His journal entry for October 28, 1949, expressed that his belief that work dedicated to Jesus was more important than his life.
#3 Hearing about missions touches your heart.
You have a longing to go and be part of what God is doing. You dream about being in distant lands, building relationships with people, and sharing the love of Christ.
#4 You are open to other cultures.
Eating weird things and dressing funny doesn’t bother you. You’re willing to fit in so that you can reach people.
#5 You don’t mind difficult circumstances
…and less than desirable living conditions. Being hot, dirty, and sleeping on the ground doesn’t bother you.
If that list describe you, you might be a candidate as a missionary! It may be time to start praying and asking God what your next step is.
We can change the world, one life at a time…