8 new appointees were approved at September’s new candidate orientation at ACTION USA

Everybody’s not supposed to be a m*ss*onary.
In fact, more and more we are using that extra-biblical word less and less to avoid its harmful misrepresentation of our calling.

But everybody’s part of the mission.
Each of us has a different part to play.

In John 20:21 Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” (ESV)
What does that mean?
Does it give you a messianic complex?
Maybe it should.

This week I met an American family that has lived in China for the past 30 years. They have a thriving business, a growing church and now are sending out those who have been called to bless others. When the mother of the family found out I was a mission director she asked me some good questions: Why do agencies send people who don’t speak the language to stay such a short time? How are they to make disciples in 2 months or even 2 years? Why don’t they live among the people? Couldn’t they do something that gives them relationships and credibility?

These were good questions.
She would never call herself a m*ss*onary, but she and her husband and their grown kids certainly have understood and committed themselves to the mission of God and his people to a lost and lonely world (For more see Christopher Wright’s “The Mission of God” and “The Mission of God’s People.”)

Then I asked her some questions: Who prays for you? Who is part of your support team? How are people mobilized and encouraged to become involved with Christ’s mission through what you’re doing? She had answers for me but I think she got my point. The mission is not my mission or your mission or even my agency’s mission. It’s the whole church’s mission (Ephesians 3:10).

God doesn’t need you and me to do His work. He’s saving people all over the place by just touching them with His grace in some way. But He wants to use all of us to reflect His glory and to unite us in Christ even in our weakness and need.

Each of the appointees above has family and friends and neighbors and churches who are asking, “What in the world are you doing? You’re going to sell your business and rent your house and move to one of the most dangerous countries on earth and you won’t earn a regular salary? What are you, a masochist?”

The best answer to those questions is in brother Paul’s words in Philippians 2:5: You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had…(NLT). There it is again. All of us are sent, like Jesus, in the power of the Spirit, to accomplish God’s purpose in a dying world.

During the past year since the International Council decided I would become ACTION’s third international director, I’ve been praying for clarity. There’s so much to say! There’s so much work! I want to say and do only what the Father is saying and doing.
And I believe He’s given me that clarity for now.
Here it is.
Are you ready?

Mobilize everybody.
That’s it!
Our discipleship programs fall short if we fail to teach our disciples to obey the Great Commission.
The church is not mature until it is multiplying discipleship through “teaching them to observe all that [Christ] has commanded” (Matthew 28:20 ESV) which includes the Great Commission.
My financial need calls some to give.
My spiritual need motivates others to pray.
Our personnel needs motivate many to go.

Every single person has a part to play in God’s Great Reconciliation of all things. That’s why your newsletter is so important! It’s not just about your ministry. It’s mobilizing each member of the body to be energized by the sending Spirit of the Father just like He sent Jesus.

May our obedience in weakness call our friends and family and neighbors and acquaintances to wake up to the fact that life is about more than waiting for the weekend or waiting for the rapture. Life is our moment in the great adventure of being the light of the world and the salt of the earth in Jesus’ name.
Mobilize everybody.

Thomas and Susanna Smoak served the Lord among the abandoned children of Brazil from 1995 to 2016. They have six children and live in Wheaton, Illinois.