“…to the uttermost bounds of the Earth.”
That phrase has been echoed in chapel service after chapel service, empowering those who seek to do missionary work as a profession or even go on a few mission trips. But it inspires a small amount of unintended guilt for those who do not seek to go on missions trips or do not feel called to missionary work. There is no disputing the fact that global missionary work is important. It requires someone to step out of his or her comfort zone (or step into their comfort zone) and go with other believers to places that require immense faith, skill and obedience to survive. But there is also something to say for those who do not wish to do global missions.
There are those who feel called to step out of their suburban homes and travel thirty minutes to the local high school and teach. There are some who see the importance in raising a family, and others who see “the uttermost bounds of the Earth” as the local food shelter they volunteer at every week. You see, just because a Christian hasn’t gone to Zimbabwe or experienced the power of Jerusalem doesn’t mean he or she is less of a Christian. I know a lot of teachers who know their calling is right in the middle of a high school reaching young boys and girls who know nothing of Christ except through the way the teacher shows love to them daily. “Mission trips can be a great way to share your faith and minister to the practical needs of others, however, there is no biblical precedent for checking missions off of your Christian to-do list once a year without long-term impact for the way you live most of the time,” says Erin Davis, author of Beautiful Encounters.
“While I don’t believe that everyone is called to be missionaries to other countries, all Christians are called to be missionaries within their spheres of influence,” echoes Kezia Lewis, an English teacher in Thailand. Living a Godly life can include world missions, but this is not the only way to fulfill your calling. Whether or not you sail the seas in search of people to profess the Good News to is not part of the checklist to get into Heaven. The main objective with missions is that no mission is small enough or less than because of the location. Every mission is a mission for a reason and it’s up to us to make it matter.