The great commission calls us to make disciples (Matt 28) and proclaim the gospel (Mark 16) having gone (Aorist Participle supporting an Aorist Active Imperative). For some, having gone means that God has called them to leave their homeland to go to another country.
With Christmas behind us, you probably heard of or contributed to the International Missions Christmas Offering named after one such person: Lottie Moon. Six years ago, the IMB made a promotional video, which many of you may have not seen (you can watch below).
In it, some of the letters from Lottie Moon were read. The following two statements from Lottie Moon, shared in this video, have really weighed heavy on my heart over the years:
“A young man should ask himself not if it is his duty to go to the lost but if he may dare stay at home.”
“It seemed to me that here was a woman doing the work of some young man among our churches in American who ought to be here.”
Over the years I have asked myself the same question as I have seen (at two different seminaries and here at TMU) young ladies eagerly leaving for the mission field in much higher numbers than young men. My question to you is this: have you ever sincerely asked the Lord if He would have you stay in the familiar instead of planting yourself among the nations? Yes, as Papa Van (as some of us call our own Dr. Van Sanders, Associate Professor, Missions & Evangelism, Interim Director of World Missions Center) reminds us often, the nations are just next door and we can reach them there, but I am convinced that God still calls people to take a leap of faith and go. So, have you? If not, would you?
Lest you appease your conscience by turning your finger at me, let me share some of my journey. As some of you might know, during my MDiv days, my wife Cindy and I went to Vaughan, Ontario (a suburb of Toronto), to see if God had called us to church plant there, yet God said “no.” Later, during my PhD in Theology days, Cindy and I actively pursued trying to go to Europe to help in theological education, and yet again God said “no.” In both cases, my heart was broken. Mainly because of the lost people out there who need to hear about a resurrected Savior, but that was not God’s will for my life. Even to this day, every time I go to Africa, I ask again … but to the best of my ability in discerning the will of God, as of this day, He has called me to minister here instead.
Ultimately, all I am asking you to do is to ask your Master what His will is, so that you might trust in Him with all your hearts and not lean on your own understanding; so that you might acknowledge Him in all your ways and allow Him to direct your paths. As slaves, we really don’t have a say except the words: “yes, Master.”
Some of you, I’m convinced, may need to stop running from His call in your life, so that, whether as tentmakers or as vocational missionaries, you might be obedient to your Master. For the rest of us, remember … having gone, also means having gone home, having gone to work, having gone to visit family, having gone to the store … make disciples.
Dr. Maël Disseau is the Dean and Associate Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies for the The Balthasar Hubmaier School of Theology and MissionsReturn to Blog Archive