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You Are Not Called to Missions

06.19.19
by Jim Beerley
in Blog, Mission work
Stop waiting for a call and live sent.

If there’s a question in the mind of someone pursuing missions, it’s usually, “Am I called?”

Let me be clear: No Christian is called to missions.

Rather, every Christian is called to God, who sends us on mission. That may not sound like a big difference, but it is. Here’s what I mean.

Called then sent

Mark 3:13-14 says, “[Jesus] went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve … so that they might be with him and he might send them out…” (emphasis added). That order is important, as we’ll see in a minute.

Later, Jesus travels with those same 12 men to Samaria, probably the last place on earth they would have felt called because of the Jews’ and Samaritans’ mutual animosity. But it’s there that Jesus says, “The fields are white for harvest” (John 4:35).

The “fields” where the least-reached live aren’t always desirable. Political, religious, racial, and cultural hang-ups — on both sides — could make us say, “I don’t feel called there.” But if “feeling called” was what the first disciples were waiting for, I doubt they would have ever left Jerusalem.

That’s why Jesus called them to Himself. By spending time with Jesus, they learned how He loves and whom He loves. That was a prerequisite for the disciples before Jesus sent them, and it’s a prerequisite for us, too. God sends those He trusts — those who walk in close fellowship with Him — to gather His harvest.

Called in community

When we talk about being called, we hold the control. I decide what a call feels like and whether I feel it today or not. When I don’t feel called anymore, I am free to do what I want.

Where is the community of God in that mindset? Who can speak into your life without feeling like they’re challenging God Himself? By holding tight controls over our call, we lose of a lot of godly wisdom, direction, and discernment found in the church.

When God said He was calling Barnabas and Paul to a specific ministry in Acts 13:2-3, He communicated that to the church community — not to Barnabas and Paul privately. Then the church, under God’s direction, sent them out. The church then, and the church today, affirms the heart and trustworthiness of the one being sent.

You, the sent one, then follow the authority and commands of the One who sent you — God, through your church. And given the Great Commission, His authority and commands are pretty clear.

So, what does all this mean for you? Stop waiting for a call and live sent.

  1. You have been called to God, so abide in Him. Remember, the Great Commandment precedes the Great Commission, both temporally and theologically. You become trustworthy as you draw close to our global God and understand the love He has for the world. Over time, you will begin to see with His eyes and love with His heart.

  2. Remember that Jesus has sent you already (John 20:21). Live on mission where He has placed you and be active in your church community. Is your church affirming your heart and trustworthiness to be sent? Talk to us.


Jim BeerleyJim Beerley grew up as a missionary kid in Haiti and Canada. He later returned overseas to serve in Haiti and then Monaco. He currently lives in Ontario, where he leads Crossworld Canada. Jim and his wife, Mary, have three children.

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