Anne blogs at Front Porch, Inspired about surrendering everyday living for sacred purposes. She and her husband, Jay, are founders of a ministry called The Bridge, focusing on missional living and advocacy for youth in vulnerable places of life. She holds an MA in Teaching Languages (English and Spanish) and is a lover of words and the Word, culture and communication. Jay and Anne have four young kids, a front door that can’t stay closed, and an abundance of messy, holy chaos at their neighborhood center/home in Iowa – of all places.
So, where is the mission field?
While most people are still having conversations about what’s going on “over there,” the nations have moved in around us.
And so, maybe the question about mission fields is becoming obsolete. After all, missions isn’t about a location, but people – relationships, lives, families, humans – wherever they are.
But what does that mean for us, those of us living in the shadows of numerous steeples? What does it mean for those of us who have long accepted and cemented the concept of “sending missionaries over there?”
It means that mentalities need to be changing. Hearts and eyes and front doors need to be opening.
The two worlds – the far-off mission field world and the everyday, Christian living world – now need to merge into one, cohesive lifestyle of tangible faith.
I believe the same fervor and boldness for Christ that once caused a church to lay hands on a missionary family and send them off to another continent must now empower its members to reach across the street and care for a refugee family.
I believe the same fervor and boldness for Christ that once caused someone to raise his hand, saying “here am I, send me…to over there” must now compel him to move belongings to a different part of the city in order to engage people, with lives just as real as over there.
I believe the same fervor and boldness for Christ that once caused someone to surrender her livelihood and career goals in order to leave for the field must now compel her to intentionally, mentally surrender it still, while living out her faith in the everyday of that job with eyes wide open to God’s plan for it.
But, maybe it doesn’t seem as fulfilling or recognizable to just walk across your street or to just open your door or to just shine daily in your home or work.
Dare I say, it’s just not as neat, is it?
(Yes, I’m talking to myself.)
Not to mention, we crave what seems most worthwhile. The projects with the greatest potential impact. The meaningful. There is something magnetic about the big, the stuff that we can capture in pictures, the building projects we put money towards, the stuff we can report on during a Sunday morning introduction. That stuff.
But, what we do and desire to do are not the point.
Jesus nudges each of us into a life of surrender not simply service.
As we surrender to His authority, we forfeit the right to question the relevance or the worthiness of the position He appoints. It may be Africa or Asia, or a combination of the two in the United States. Yet, He’s not asking us to analyze the effectiveness; He’s asking for obedience and a trusting heart here as well as there.
So, today - in your world, who hasn't heard or who hasn't been stirred?
Be faithful to reflect His grace and love to that person. Live on mission, intentionally, and right where God has you.