What Is a Missionary?
March 19, 2006
INTRODUCTION: Here in Acts 13, we have Paul and Barnabas called out from the church at Antioch to be missionaries. In (vs. 3) it tells us that the people had "fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, and then sent them away." These are our first recorded missionaries.
Just a note of interest; you will not find the word missionary or missions anywhere in the Bible. The word "Mission" comes from a Latin word meaning "to throw, let go, or send." And that's what we do, don't we? We follow God's command to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). It is the job of the local church to commission men to carry the gospel to the regions beyond.
QUOTE: "What is a Missionary?" The North American Missionary Board defines a missionary as "A person who, in response to God's call and gifting, leaves his/her comfort zone and crosses cultural, geographic or other barriers to proclaim the Gospel and live out a Christian witness in obedience to the Great Commission."
ILLUS: Brant Holladay, Editor of the Europe Magazine On Line, said, in defining a missionary:
Christians love them, governments tolerate them, parents miss them, and Christ protects them. A missionary has the patience of a fisherman, the audacity of a tightrope walker, the carefulness of a bookkeeper, the vision of a dreamer, the strength of a builder, the intelligence of a teacher, and the wit of a humorist..."
He likes letters from home, children, plain preaching, mission recruits, faith promise conferences, tracts, printing presses, radio stations, translators, E-mail messages, cameras, airplanes, maps, Bible studies, cities, and peanut butter..."
A missionary is an unusual creature. You can send him to a far-off country, but you had better not forget him. You can get him out of your hair, but you cannot get him out of your heart. He is your servant, your right hand, your depen ...
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