25 September 2007

I Hate Being A Missionary...

Here’s my first swing out on a limb… enjoy!

I hate being a missionary… as most would define the term.

Traditionally when churches think of missions they think of a church department that sends people and money to a foreign country.

When I think of missionaries I think of:
o Guys with weird facial hair, 20 year-old suites with elbow patches and sandals.
o Women with armpit hair, wearing a dress that some visitor accidentally left behind.
o Children with no social skills and a knack for looking awkward in every situation.

When I think of Missions Sunday I think of:
o A ceremony with flags
o An over weight woman singing, “Let the whole world see that we need Jesus”
o A few jungle stories and the pastor staying in the pulpit because the missionaries are too out of touch to preach to their people

When I think of missionaries… those are the last people that I would ever want to be.

I’ll go one step further… I think the term “missionary” should be tossed from the book…

One step further… and closer to the edge of the cliff… the term “missionary” is unbiblical… or at least it can’t be found in any Bible on my bookshelves.

The reason why I hate the term “missionary” is that it gives people a wrong view of everything Christ left us here to do. “Missionaries” are the superheroes who wander the world making disciples … and according to this definition the job of the rest is to make money and tithe so the missionaries can stay in the jungles of Africa.

The problem for me is that every believer according to the above definition is a “missionary” … we are all called to the work of making disciples.

Missions is every Christian being a missionary to their local culture… whether their culture is a fishing village on the shore of Lake Victoria or a So Cal suburb. I’m just a misplaced Christian… I’m a Christian in a foreign culture so I have to do some extra work figuring things out so I can make disciples for Christ in this culture.

So please call me:
o Jeff
o Pastor Jeff
o Or the missionary you used to support

But please understand the term missionary should be for all Christians or for none…


Michelle said...

Jeff, I totally agree with you. I hate the terms "missions" and "missionary" because so many people have the wrong ideas about what they really mean. As Christians we are all called to the mission field and to be missionaries, no matter where we live. Thank you for writting so faithfully and I hope to see you and the family when I come back to Uganda this summer with the team from Master's again. God bless and know that you are in my prayers.

Steve Pyfrom said...

Thanks for your honesty man. I appreciate your blog a ton.

I hope you've been well. Miss you dude. Would love to see you.

Teenietinyt said...

I TOTALLY agree!!!!!!!

Helene said...

Hey Jeff. Ny name's Heléne and I'm a Swedish friend of Steve Pyfrom. I check out his blog now and then and today I clicked my way to your blog from there. A very interesting blog you got here. Thank you for writing God's honest truth..that missions is every Christian being a missionary to their local culture. God bless you Jeff, Christine, Noah and Kadin. Keep loving the people around you in your local culture and living out the mission of God's grace. -Your sister, Heléne