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Are all missions related to becoming a Pastor or Missionary? Or can it be anything?

January 25, 2020

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Title Are all missions related to becoming a Pastor or Missionary? Or can it be anything?
Author agoodcrayon
Upvotes 5
Comments 17
Date January 25, 2020 10:16 AM UTC (2 years ago)
Subreddit /r/askRPC
Archive Link https://theredarchive.com/r/askRPC/are-all-missions-related-to-becoming-a-pastor-or.356403
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/askRPC/comments/etp56z/are_all_missions_related_to_becoming_a_pastor_or/

[–]rocknrollchuck2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

1 Corinthians 12:12-31 has the answer:

For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.

15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be?

20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.

[–]Deep_Strength2 points3 points  (4 children) | Copy Link

No, there's a lot of different spiritual gifts:


Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, 1 Peter 4 all have various lists of them.

These lists aren't really exhaustive either. Any way you can think of that you can love and serve others in the body of Christ and minister and evangelize to non-believers is a mission.

[–]Red-Curious2 points3 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

I would argue that the exercise of one's spiritual gifts aren't the mission itself; rather, they are the context that creates the pathway for how the mission will be fulfilled.

That is, the mission is the same for us all: "Go and make disciples of all nations." Some will insert their life context into that mission: "I'm a plumber, so I'm going to make disciples of those who need plumbing work done, or fix the plumbing of those I disciple."

But if one is gifted at ...

  • teaching, then he will say: "I will make disciples among those I teach."

  • hospitality, then he will say: "I will disciple those who I invite into my home."

  • mercy, then he will say: "I will disciple those whose aid I bring."

  • evangelism, then he will say: "I will disciple those I bring to faith."

Alternatively, the gift may create not only the context, but the directive as well:

  • The teacher will emphasize teaching in his discipler-making relationships.

  • The hospitable will utilize their invitation to advance the relationship with those they disciple.

  • The merciful will show those they disciple how to care for those in need.

  • The evangelist will model for their disciples how to share the Gospel.

The spiritual gifts are in no way a limitation on one's obligations in the discipler-making relationships they maintain (as if one could argue: "I'm gifted at teaching, so I don't need to be hospitable to those I disciple"), but they do add a unique flavor to the relationship that builds up each part of the body of Christ rather than trying to force everyone to be a jack-of-all trades (what I could reasonably term stem-cell Christians).

Just some things to think about :)

Tag: /u/agoodcrayon

[–]Deep_Strength0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

Yeah, I agree. I think I explained it poorly. The spiritual gifts are kind of like attributes points and character paths in an RPG. All working toward the same goal, but there's different classes and skills to do that.

[–]Red-Curious0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Hah! An amusing analogy.

[–]agoodcrayon[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Got it, thanks man!

[–]DoersOfTheWord1 point2 points  (4 children) | Copy Link

Mine isn't. Externally, my wife and I minister to elderly people in our community. Some are already saved but despondent, other's aren't saved and indigent. Internally, I'm ushering my young children into a love of Christ and discipline.

[–]agoodcrayon[S] 0 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy Link

What if someone’s purpose is to go into law or become a police officer? Is that part of purpose or mission? As long as you are discipline others?

[–]OsmiumZulu1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

”The prince should think: Christ has served me and made everything to follow him; therefore, I should also serve my neighbor, protect him and everything that belongs to him. That is why God has given me this office, and I have it that I might serve him. That would be a good prince and ruler. When a prince sees his neighbor oppressed, he should think: That concerns me! I must protect and shield my neighbor....The same is true for shoemaker, tailor, scribe, or reader. If he is a Christian tailor, he will say: I make these clothes because God has bidden me do so, so that I can earn a living, so that I can help and serve my neighbor. When a Christian does not serve the other, God is not present; that is not Chris- tian living.” - Martin Luther

Can you be a lawyer or a police officer and serve your neighbor through those vocations? Yes, just as you can use those vocations to oppress your neighbor. The world and God’s kingdom needs more callings than just pastor.

[–]agoodcrayon[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Thank you for this. I struggle with this because the heart is deceitful and I don’t want to pick something for selfish gain. I want to confirm the calling onto my life is God given.

[–]DoersOfTheWord0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

My career is separate from my mission. The poor in my area have no use for cloud architecture. But careers like law can lead to a lot of opportunity to minister to the poor since they end up interacting with the law (often unfairly).

[–]Red-Curious0 points1 point  (4 children) | Copy Link

The guy who discipled me (Justin) often told a story of a guy we'll call Bob. Justin discipled Bob while Bob was in college. Bob was studying for a career in IT. Justin often asked him for updates and Bob would waver: "I can't decide whether to be a missionary or an IT technician." At graduation, Justin pressed him: "The time to decide is up, so what's your answer? Is it missionary or IT worker?"

Bob answered, "I've decided to be a missionary ... disguised as an IT worker."

This is the proper framework for understanding your day-job. Whether your day-job is to work in a hospital or people's homes or an office or a sanctuary, we're all missionaries. Our job merely creates context for living out our common mission to make disciplers of all nations.

[–]Praexology0 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy Link

You don't have to be "disguised" though. Why is there such a compulsion to try to be sneaky about evangelism?

He can just be both.

[–]Red-Curious0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy Link

It's more a frame of mind thing. To say, "I am both a missionary and IT technician" implies that they are separate vocations, as if you do your missions work when you're not doing IT work. Wording it the way he did, while sounding "sneaky," as you put it, is really a misnomer to communicate the broader concept that missions work is an underlying foundation of our identity and function in the world and that our day job is nothing more than context.

[–]Praexology0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

I dont necessarily agree with the semantics but thinking about it I guess it doesn't really matter.

Our job merely creates context for living out our common mission to make disciplers of all nations.

This I believe is spot on. How do you feel about career missionaries, if all work is supposed to be a vehicle for mission? Given this, is being a missionary as a job superfluous?

Strikes me that the ones I interact with prefer to ask for money than work for it.

[–]Red-Curious0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I do believe career missionaries are perfectly appropriate and necessary. The apostles and Jesus model it both ways. That said, Paul was careful never to let his financial needs compromise the message. If a vocational missionary is asking for money in a way that causes anyone to be skeptical of their ministry, I'm automatically skeptical because Paul would sooner take up tent making again before allowing his ministry to anyone become compromised. Vocational missionaries (whether local pastors or overseas workers) should follow in this example. I very much stand against almost every mega church I see because of this incongruence (among other issues).

[–]juliusstreicher0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

One thing that I've found-don't focus on your 'gift' or 'ministry'. For many years, I thought that I was to be a 'teacher'. Even in the Bible school that I attended, I impressed others with my grasp of the Bible and it's principles. Of course, light flowed when I spoke. Those who didn't listen had hardened their hearts against God.

Then, I grew up. People didn't listen because I was an idiot or sinfully proud, etc... I found out that other people would prod me along in my belief so that they could use me to advance themselves. "I discern that you are called to be a missionary..." could have better been translated "You are called to be a missionary so that you can bring a load of people to MY church, to hear ME preach, and give ME tithes...

Point being, seek to know Christ as Paul sought to know him more. Any other thing will hinder a ministry.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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