“If you want to leave the unreached the unreached, tell everyone they are a missionary.” Matthew Ellison
Are you a Missionary? How believers answer this question may have direct implication to the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Denny Spitters & Matthew Ellison, authors of When Everything is Missions and Conversations on When Everything is Missions, joined us in an engaging conversation for our Mission Minded Podcast.
So who is a missionary? What is the identity of the average churchgoer who reaches their community? What are the roots of the terms mission, missions, missionary, and missional? All of these questions are vital to our understanding of vocational ministry and its role in the Great Commission.
In recent years, many pastors, in an attempt to encourage the church body to engage in outreach and evangelism within their local communities, have been deeming everyone as a missionary and every vocation as missions. While these efforts have been well intentioned, they have had some unintended negative consequences. In this clip, Matthew Ellison emphasizes the fact that when everyone is a missionary and when everything is missions, the priority of overseas missions and reaching the unreached becomes obscured. Those who suffer from these consequences include the unreached who have no access to the Gospel and the missionaries who are trying to reach them.
When the philosophy that everything is missions is perpetuated by the church, not only is it designating the role of the cross-cultural missionary to obscurity, but it is also lowering the bar for discipleship. Denny Spitters points out that evangelism and outreach within your local context is a vital part of discipleship. When local outreach is relegated to the role of missions, the responsibility of being a disciple of Christ is cheapened. This also removes the distinction of the overseas missionary.
Join this conversation to learn from two men who the Lord has uniquely equipped to help the Western Church wrestle with this challenging topic.