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Stories & Blog

Identifying “Sent Ones”

Identifying “Sent Ones”

Read the series: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Is there a “missionary call” to make disciples of all nations that is distinct from all other professions? Many think so, judging from their own experience of God’s leading them to go “into missions.” And most in the church pews think so as well, believing that God hasn’t called them into missions as He seems to have done with a select few.

A Vital DistinctionGod has not called a select few to make disciples of all nations; He has commanded everyone to do so. This command applies to whatever vocation God has called us, wherever He has sent us to live and work. All of God’s people are to leverage who they are and what they do to glorify God and make disciples, blessing the world that God so loves.

Having said that, God does call each of us to work in certain venues and locations, sometimes in overseas cross-cultural settings. We should have a clear sense of God’s leading in whatever our calling or job, but if one is going to transplant his or her life and family to another country, the stakes are much higher. Here’s where the church is so important.

The Church Hearing the CallActs 13:1-4 provides the classic example of the church hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit while worshipping and fasting. This hearing only confirmed what God had already revealed to the apostle Paul on the Damascus road. So we see an individual and corporate “call.” What would the fulfillment of Christ’s mandate look like if the church consistently and intentionally sought the Lord regarding whom they might send to the world’s unreached?

A cross-cultural calling is also confirmed through the tests of character and experience that allow the church to see the extent of growth in Christ-likeness (1 Timothy 3 and Galatians 5) and a disciple-making lifestyle. This will usually be recognized in personal relationships and smaller group venues, raising the necessity of all “sent ones” to be well-connected to their church. 

The church is commanded to raise up disciple-makers who will bless their worlds locally and globally through their multi-faceted callings. Share with us in the comments your experience of what this looks like in your church.
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