Our dear friend and fellow house church planter Neil Cole is fond of saying that no one has a “junior Holy Spirit” in that even a very young person has 100% of God’s Spirit at conversion. Of course, fuller and deeper maturity takes time, and we all hope for the baptism of the Spirit immediately! For in it lies God’s real and full power of His Spirit for kingdom living.
But in the same way, every Christian is a full time missionary. No exceptions.
Let me explain if I might…
When first saved here in the west and because it was beaten into my head a million times in the first few years, I bought into the satanic deception that indeed there were only a few special Christians that were “full time.” That meant, obviously, that I, along with most everyone else, was “part time.”
And if you were really “called,” you’d be a “missionary.” That meant you’d have all your living expenses essentially paid for by people who worked hard in the marketplace “full time” but were “part time” Christians “partnering” with “full time” Christians.
And that’s not all, beloved.
If you were really, really, really “called,” you’d be serving Jesus Christ “full time” on the “mission field” and be “fully supported” to boot. That meant geographically, for certain, anywhere but where you were living now if born in that country. And the further away and more remote, the better.
Unless you were in the “home office” helping raise lots of “support” and helping with admin, etc for the “full time” missionaries who were not there. That counted. You might be “full time” since you raised you own “support” from your own “partners.” But it’s still not anywhere close to the top of the food chain since you weren’t a real “missionary” on the real “mission field.”
People would get all misty eyed where someone “on furlough” and/or “back home” came to speak about their far flung ventures. There’s indeed something exhilarating and mysteriously exhorting about those folks who arrive with their testimonies, display tables, PowerPoint slides, refrigerator magnets, and colored newsletters. And to this day, we do “support” some, and support others in many ways! So do you I suspect.
As an aside, these visiting “missionaries” have never asked me in 27 years about my testimonies in my mission field. It’s always unilateral. I suspect it’s due to the fact in their opinion I’m “back home,” and “part time,” and not “fully supported,” etc.
Odd, I mused. Was that what God really wanted? What about all the rest of us, Lord? Are we 2nd, or 3rd, class “citizens” since we’re not “called?” At least so far?
So…at first…I too wanted to be not only “full time” but also a real “missionary.” Many of my other zealous Christian friends also felt the same. We prayed to that end. We were desperately trying to discern God’s “calling” so as to not make a mistake and fall flat on our face.
I read book after book about these real “missionaries” and was waiting to be sent “full time” to Asia or Africa. Very far flung. I even made a couple of “short term mission trips” where the “full time missionaries” called us “missionaries”…at least for the week or two we were there!
I felt much better during those trips. Like I had finally arrived for a season…albeit very, very, very short.
Certainty, there were pious platitudes espoused by the “church” such as “bloom where you’re planted.” Which is true. But still, in the final analysis, we were still “part time.”
I was always bothered by that. Maybe you were, or are at this time.
You all know what I mean, dear ones. At least those here who are “part time.” Take heart, my friend.
The cracks in that “missionary model” began to show up soon as the Holy Spirit began to flood me with rapid truths about what really pleases the Father!
First, He quickly dismantled the “church” system concept by exposing the huge problems in every aspect of it. The institutional system not only stifles, but even kills, Biblical maturity and the “church service” itself. This system relegates 95% of His body to spectator mode…while the “full time” pros “feed” us.
The argument in defense is that “God is working.” Of course, He is. A church leader I know well states God will fill whatever we give Him. He will. He loves His people.
But that’s the wrong defense…and it has no truck with the Word of God.
In a dramatic illustration serving to expose the excuse of using minimums for God’s kingdom work and to stun the hearer, I state often that “God saves people every day in Asian whorehouses too, but that doesn’t mean we should frequent them.”
Now don’t fuss with me on that quite yet…
But, instead, first read, study, and mediate upon Frank Viola and George Barna’s outstanding work, Pagan Christianity? In this exhaustive piece, these brothers show us how in the world we got what we have today in no uncertain terms…the continuation of the Roman “church” established in the early 300’s, and the further disintegration since then.
The word “church” demanded by Henry VIII and his minions was opposed by soon martyred bible translator William Tyndale who argued for the word “congregation” to describe the actual people of God. Henry and the boys loved the system and the fact “church” meant primarily real estate. Some things never change, do they?
Moreover, the average “pastor” is not a shepherd at all in most cases. He (or she) is almost always an orator, a teacher, or preacher. And if they were really honest with all the spiritual gifts in their assembly, the humorous and ironic result would appear like this.
The average Sunday morning church service, Sunday School, the whole bit, is neither described, nor prescribed, in the New Covenant record. Christ’s body always, without exception, met in homes, as a home church.
No pastor. No head buffalo. No church names. Nothing of the sort. Only elder led consensus with the body (the ecclesia) of Christ with the Head Himself, Jesus Christ, leading all members through His Holy Spirit.
A frequent argument is proposed by institutional church folks that the reason the early church met in homes is because they couldn’t afford buildings. Not so. From archeological evidence we know some simple home assemblies met in larger homes of affluent families. Furthermore, the pagans have written derogatory things about the early church’s home meetings because they refused to meet in pagan worship buildings like the pagans did!
The demonic worldly wisdom also produces a false doctrine of two classes: clergy (“full time”) and laity (“part time”), completely foreign to the apostolic history, doctrine, and daily example in the book of Acts of the Apostles.
Jesus Himself warned about the traditions of men:
Mark 7:8-9 “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.”
He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition…”
And the apostle Paul commanded us to hold to the traditions of God only:
Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
In the same way, then, the “church” system arrived at the “full time missionary” shenanigans, they also invented the brilliant idea of demanding the “missionaries” children be shipped off to distant school holding tanks since these precious children were “in the way” of the real “full time missionaries.” Amazingly stupid. When God blesses, He puts people together, and when He curses, He always splits people up.
This is not rocket science.
What a mess. We have dear saints now grown who barely survived this nonsense, and they still suffer the pain of not only past isolation and rejection, but in some cases, molestation. Scarred for life…God help us.
We now know beyond a doubt that indigenous workers in their own country, telling stories vs. a written Bible like the west, and at times with some limited help from the west, are light years ahead of what the west forced upon them for hundreds of years.
Cross cultural workers can have a hand in the kingdom gospel for certain. But it may take years more to undo the damage of adopting the Roman church system that still exists today since the enemy planted it in the early 300’s.
The Word speaks clearly that all Christians are commanded to financially support those who work hard as preaching and teaching, and elders worthy of double honor, and itinerant apostolic church planters, to name a few.
A Full Time Missionary – Always
Remember, dear saint: you’re a full time missionary right where you are today. Now.
Go ahead and bloom…yes…but more importantly, get going with the good works that He prepared for you beforehand (Eph. 2.10). Pray, fast, sacrifice, suffer…be a little Christ…
As for me personally, I’m a full time missionary in the 3rd largest mission filed in the world…
George Barna states that maybe 5% of Americans are saved. Maybe. And I fully agree with him. That means my indigenous mission field where I live has over 300,000,000 souls…a full 50,000,000 more than the 4th largest mission field in the world, Indonesia, with 247,000,000.
I’m also “fully supported” financially by God in my full time missionary work through two ways: as a “tent maker” business consultant as well as Walk Worthy here in preaching and discipling the whole gospel and purpose of God worldwide.
We have numerous offers to come “minister” in foreign countries with the truth of the real gospel…often to combat the false Western and American gospel that has also polluted their countries. When I engage in this, I call myself a “cross cultural missionary.” Some address me as “Pastor,” and I gently but resolutely correct them that I’m their “brother” only. A pastor is a spiritual gift, not an office.
And being a good steward of the Word of God, when brethren discuss a missionary doing kingdom work outside our area here in America, I correct them by stating, “You mean they’re a cross cultural missionary.” And they almost always verbally agree.
The Biggest Ministry in The World
And, surprisingly so, as a “tent maker” business consultant, I also do kingdom work, probably just like you, in the biggest ministry in the history of missions all time besides the home and family…
The ministry of business.
All of life is ministry…100%. Every detailed aspect. Our brother the apostle Paul made that crystal clear in Romans as he sought to dispel the Old Covenant idea that only some of life was “worship.” As a living and holy sacrifice, my worship is 24-7. Even how I brush my teeth to the glory of God…
Romans 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
There’s multiple opportunities to preach the unsurpassed riches of Christ, His gracious repentance and love, His abiding wrath on the lost, and to serve those in need and suffering in the marketplace.
And to the homemakers, we state that your loving contributions to your family members that work outside the home receives a “King’s reward” too. Thanks and congratulations for supporting the biggest ministry in the world: business.
Have you ever considered that nothing happens in “missionary work” or “church work” or the body of Christ without the income of human beings that are employed and those taking risks to begin and sustain those businesses as business owners called entrepreneurs? In America, as in many portions of the world, 80% of the economy is made up of businesses that employ twenty employees and less!
Sometimes when a person asks, “What do you do,?” I respond by stating that I’m an “Ambassador.” Their quizzical look gives way to the ultimate follow up question: “For what country?”
And with a smile, I normally state, “Heaven. Where the kingdom of God through Jesus Christ is represented here and now by its kingdom citizens on earth.”
The Orlando, Florida area in America just happens to be my personal “Jerusalem.” America is my “Samaria.” And I strive to be highly evangelistic everywhere: on my street, in the grocery store, at Walmart, with the business people I serve and as I use their products and services, at a restaurant, at the gas station, in the airport…
We’re an aroma to all we meet…either fragrantly acceptable to those saved, or the stench of rotting flesh as death to the lost, disobedient, and currently headed for the lake of fire.
2 Corinthians 2:15-16 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life…
And if this deathly aroma is not evident consistently with the rejection and anger of the lost you encounter, perhaps you’re actually perishing, or departing from the faith.
God has given me upwards of 300,000,000 souls that He may prepare some for me to proclaim His Truth of the King and His Kingdom. What a unfathomable privilege.
What about you? Where is your “Jerusalem?” Your “Samaria?” And, more importantly, what are you doing with the talent(s) He’s bestowed upon you with His immeasurable grace? Is it being used 100% of your ability through Him? Have you foolishly buried it? What will you say to Him at His Judgment Seat (2 Cor.5-10)?
Can we give praise to the Almighty that all of us…every single kingdom citizen…is a full time missionary for and fully supported by the King Himself?
What an opportunity. And through many tribulations we shall enter fully and finally into that kingdom. His kingdom. Through His King…this has never been for the faint of heart.
He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
Please comment on this post right below. Feel free to write and proclaim your leadings in the Spirit in an honorable fashion.
Your friend and brother in fighting the good fight,
Saints, we’re one day closer to Home, and Him! Love Him wholeheartedly!
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Please comment on this post right below. Feel free to write and proclaim your leadings in the Spirit in an honorable fashion.
Marc White, Director, Walk Worthy Ministries, www.WalkWorthy.org