Every Christian is a missionary. Every Christian is indwelt with the power of God and sent in the same way as Jesus was sent. Every Christian carries the edict of the good news sent by our King. We are all ambassadors.
The Ambassador Handbook
Ambassadors represent their kingdom, and in order to accurately represent the Kingdom of God, we must be rooted in its ways. We get this foundation from Scripture. In other words, all ministry must have Scripture at its source.
Plans and strategies and methods and recipes for success must come not from man but from the Bible. I was reading Galatians last week and gleaned the follow truths regarding principles we should abide by as missionaries.
Don’t Go at it Alone
To the Galatians, Paul writes “I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me…” (Gal 2:1). This trip to Jerusalem was not really focused on preaching the gospel, but none-the-less we see that Paul has a companion and disciple that travel with him. If we follow the example of Scripture, you cannot be a lone-ranger missionary.
You must have a team. Travel together. Find a companion who can encourage you and keep you in check, and find a younger Christian to come along and learn the ropes. To be a missionary, you must have a team.
Remember the Poor
“Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.” (Gal 2:10). In missionary living, there is an integration of preaching and service to the poor. My friend Scott does this very well.
We were sitting outside Starbucks waiting to meet some Saudi friends when a deaf, homeless man approached us. He was in need of money for a bus pass. I didn’t have cash on me, but Scott gave us his last minas to help the guy out. A missionary remembers the poor as he brings the gospel to the lost.
Don’t Please Man over God
The story from Gal 2:11-14 can be summed up in this: Peter sat at the lunch table with the Gentiles until the Jewish opposition came in the room. These Jews thought that to become a Christian, Gentiles must first become Jews (under their law which included eating restrictions).
Paul publicly rebukes Peter, and from this account we learn that a Christian missionary does not abandon convictions for the sake of people-pleasing. Become all things to all people, but embrace conflict when it is necessary to defend the truth of the gospel.
Live the Exchanged Life
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me.” (Gal 2:20) Paul, one of the greatest missionaries of all times, lived the exchanged life.
The ultimate principle of missionary living is…to die! Live the exchanged life by dying to yourself and letting the Spirit of God live through you.