Who is a Missionary?
Last Week, which is week one of the Mission Awareness month, Rev. Julius laid a very solid foundation by presenting to us the topic God’s Heart on missions, through the lens of the Samaritan Women. It was very interesting to note that her encounter with Jesus turned her from the despised and prejudiced of the society to an evangelist who convinced the entire city. Her message was simple, and that is the trending theme of the month “Come See a man”who told me everything I ever did, could this be Christ?
Today, we will be seeking to answer from scriptures, “who is a missionary?”
A person sent to preach usually the Christian religion (Oxford Advanced Learners dictionary)
Most Theologians are in agreement, that a missionary is one who is SENTto witness across cultures.
The linguistic root word there is “BEING SENT”.It connotes the missional concept of all Christians making disciples wherever they are in response to the great commission, (Matt28:18-20).
Main Text:Luke 10:1-9
Luk 10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and SENTthem two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.
Luk 10:2 He told them, “THE HARVEST IS PLENTIFUL, but the WORKERS ARE FEW. ASK THE LORD OF THE HARVEST, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
Luk 10:3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.
Luk 10:4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
Luk 10:5 When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’
Luk 10:6 If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you.
Luk 10:7 Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.
Luk 10:8 When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you.
Luk 10:9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’
LK-1 The Lord appointed 72 others and sent them two by two. This refers to the nameless group that was not part of the core disciples of Jesus. The 12 in chapter 9 had names. In fact Matthew lists their names, but also brings an interesting aspect of restriction.
Mat 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans.
Mat 10:6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.
Jesus clearly defines boundaries within which they should operate. It is likely that being the prince of peace that he was, he was alive to the prevailing prejudices and therefore didn’t want to unnecessarily ruffle the waters.
In the times, things were so bad that in Luke9:52-52a particular Samaritan Village rejected Jesus simply because he seemed to be heading to Jerusalem. An issue that the Samaritan Women in John 4:19-24 raised as a concern with Jesus. Jesus answered on the contrary.
It’s very likely that Jesus sent the 72 after the encounter with the Samaritan women. Just my gut feel as a lay preacher. If you recall, after the encounter with the Samaritan women, the people of the city urged him to stay a little more and he did, for two days.
What qualifies us as Missionaries?
IN THE GREAT COMMISSION, when Jesus is giving his final words, the boundaries are completely broken. The great commission or the great command can be likened to the last words of a man who is about to depart. This is typical of the last words of a dying man. They are to be taken seriously. (Ref: Josephand his father Isaac).
Mat 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authorityin heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Mat 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Mat 28:20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Key pointers to every Christian being a Missionary
- ALL authority in Heaven and on Earthhas been given to Jesus. Through him therefore, every believer has access to the same authority as his foot soldiers on earth. The power is not restricted to “missionaries”. The power enables us to execute our mandate. Paul say in 1Cor3: “We are coworkers with God”.
- ‘Go therefore and make disciples’is a command to respond to ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few’. This is a call to every believer.
According to State of the WorldReport, 2016 (Operation World) – 81% of the world population has never interacted with a Christian.
Kenya:Estimated to 83% Christian
- With Protestants at 48%
- Catholics at 24%
- Others ( Hindus, traditionalists, Muslims) -28%
The above was proved otherwise by a second survey commissioned by the church.
Survey conducted by The Africa Centre For Missions-Finish The Task (ACM-FFT Afriserve).
Among the individuals interviewed the following were the results on the Christian commitment( Christian and saved):
- Nairobi- 16%
- Eastern region- 12%
- Rift Valley and Central- 7%
- Nyanza- 6%
- Western and Coast- 5%
- North Eastern- 0.13%
–In view of the above, Can we then say that Kenya is a well evangelized Country?
–Do we still need more labourers?
–Is ICC-Imara well positioned in the city of Nairobi to take advantage of this state of affairs?
Why the City?
Survey released by UN in July 10th2014indicated that
- 54%of the world’spopulation live in urban areas
- This is projected to increase to 66%in 2050.
Promulgation of Constitution 2010 has seen development of Business Hubs, creating urban centres across the nation.
- Population projected to be at 5 M(World Population Review of cities)
- Has one of the largest slums in the world
- With22%livingin abject poverty
- Has a growing Middle class, with Nairobi taking 5%of the population ( Institute of Economic Affairs)
Does this presents a thriving state of affairs?
- The Lord is seeking our engagement as part of the solution to the state of affairs.LK10:2 -PRAY. Ask the Lord of harvest, therefore to send workers into his harvest field. Asking is a kingdom principle. When you ask, the Lord lays a burden in your heart and therefore directs your motivation to be purely to save souls for eternity.( Other reasons are selfish).
- More workers portend a united front in service.Believers are NOT to work alone. Christians are encouraged to multiply themselves. 2Tim 2:2brings out the principle of multiplication. Paul is simply telling Timothy, work towards having more labourersto work alongside you.
This is where the role of the pastors comes into play: To PRAY, RECRUITand EQUIP. (A call for the church to respond to training opportunities whenever they are announced) There is nothing that you cannot be taught. Luke 11:1…Jesus taught his disciples how to pray. I know for example in the man enough program…men have been effectively prepared to share their testimonies.
- The nature of the mission field is likened to a Lamb going among the wolves(Lk10:3). The world is hostile towards the preaching of the gospel. You will find opposition of all kinds. (Imara experience of a hostile father). The great promise obviously is the answer to every fear, every doubt, every trouble, every heartache and every discouragement.
(Case of encounter with University atheists)
Rev 7:9 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.
Rev 7:10 And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
The countless multitudes that John saw in a vision in heaven depicts the heart of the father, who desires that all men should be saved. Sadly, that may not be the case for all. However our responsibility to share our faith is a command that true followers of Christ cannot run away from. It falls squarely under the sin of omission as illustrated by Jesus in Matthew 24:44-51. I wish I would say otherwise. But Jesus turns to the disciples after talking about the fate of the unbelievers, then tells them “ …and you also MUST be ready”.
1Ti 2:1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone–
1Ti 2:2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
1Ti 2:3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior,
1Ti 2:4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth
Pastor Benson Omondi