Are you a missionary?  Probably not, in the traditional (full-time, evangelizing, church-planting, overseas-going) sense of the word.  Me neither.  For most of us, our time is dominated by non-churchy things: family, careers, friends, hobbies, recreation, and the endless to-do list of home-and-community responsibilities.  With all of that on our plates, who has time and energy for the work of God?  Aren’t missionaries the ones who give up all or at least some of that other stuff in order to do “ministry”?

But what if God’s work is more than just evangelism or church-building?  In WMC’s worship series on “God’s Mission,” I’ve encouraged us to take a wider view of how we think about missions:

God’s work is something all of us are created and called to do—and be—in a wide variety of capacities.  In other words, all work is God’s work.  And often, God’s work is less about what we do and more about who we are: the simple gift of presence and paying attention to the people and the world near to us can be the high calling of God.

So in this understanding of God’s Mission, maybe you really are a missionary.  Do you share in creating or building or growing things or people?  Do you participate in healing, repairing, or helping?  Are you present with people, offering encouragement, inspiration, friendship?  Yep, those are missionary activities.

In our April 17 worship service, our church wants to name and bless this kind of missional engagement that often happens beyond the structures of the church.  We are planning a time of commissioning, anointing with oil (for those who would like that), and prayer.  I’ll invite participants to share a sentence or two about how they see themselves participating in God’s Mission (or a few longer testimonies, if time and willingness allow), and the church will speak words of affirmation and blessing over them to acknowledge the significance of their particular calling.

This might seem like something that doesn’t apply to you—isn’t commissioning only for those doing big and important things?  Wouldn’t it seem like bragging to suggest that God has called me to do something special? I’d like to challenge those notions.  We are all created and called to be part of God’s Mission in all things.  We humans are terribly poor judges of what is truly important, particularly in recognizing these things in ourselves.  Can we allow each other to name and bless the work of God in and through us?

So if being commissioned and/or being marked with a bit of oil on your hands or forehead would help you to receive God’s blessing, courage, strength, and awareness, come and allow the church to bless you.  And if you know someone in the church who is a missionary without realizing it, encourage them to receive this blessing as well.

All work is God’s work, and we are all called and gifted to join in.



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Pastor Joe Heikman
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Pastor Eileen Klaassen
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