Missions and Motherhood

June 20, 2010

As I step back from the activities of the church, I begin to see more clearly the disconnect existing in my life between participating in the organization of church and simply embodying the church.

I recognize the activity of missions as no longer an event or program, but a lifestyle.  My heart is called to mission, yet my body is called to the home.  How can the two meet?  How can I glorify God in the world and make His name known where it is not yet, when I am dually called to godly wifedom, motherhood, and as a “worker in the home” (Titus 2)?

Over these past weeks this question dangled in the forefront of my mind: thoughts of condemnation and lack of faithfulness plaguing my consciousness.  Do these callings, these burdens, these longings to fulfill Christ’s mission in my life: do they conflict?  How do I live out in obedience and not compromise my faithfulness in any area?

It is for this reason I turn to the Word and discover the mission of Christ is one not solely fulfilled through the contemporary programs of church.  Christians in the Word lived out their faith in the daily routines of work and family.  Disciples fished, Paul built tents, Mary raised her family, and the Proverbs 31 woman managed the home, employees, and operated her own business (made belts and sold them, bought a field and planted a vineyard).  Their mission to be a light to the nations happened as they were living out their lives as a part of the body.  Not just as they passed the communion tray or participated on a short-term missions team.

I begin to realize I foolishly mistook activity for faithfulness. Somehow, I have surmised, if I am not actively involved in the programs of the church missions events, than I am forsaking my call to mission.  If I am not traveling the globe with the gospel, I am not living out my calling to be a voice for the nations.

Yet, the Word teaches us that life IS mission.  Where ever Christ sends us: to our homes, and/or to other nations, we are to embody Christ Himself to those we encounter. Life itself is a community-transforming platform of Christ-like development.

The passion of my heart to see all people groups worship Christ remains burning in my soul and in the tears I cry in prayer.  I dream of bowing before His throne and hearing Him worshipped in every language on the earth.  I am still called to be involved in bringing the Gospel to those who do not have a Christian witness among them. The church still must advocate and send out long-term workers to transform other communities where Christ is not known.  That is our mandate as the church.  Christ is to be exalted among the nations.  No options here. (Matthew 28).

Yet a new freedom flows from my deepened understanding of mission.  I am no longer foolish enough to limit God’s mission purpose to the programs of the church organization.  Yes! He certainly uses these programs and I still enjoy participation, but they are not all inclusive for the Christian mission life.  I no longer confuse the body, called to live out His mission, with the organization created to facilitate believers.  I’m not a Christian because I go to church, nor am I a missionary because I did an outreach event.  Missional living, as Ed Stetzer says, is “to live sent: to identify with and join God in His mission to seek, save, and serve others in the name of Christ.”

I now breath a new freedom in mission.  Even if I cannot participate in all the events of my church’s mission program, I can live out mission in each activity I am involved in… from praying as I wash dishes to crossing cultures to befriend my immigrant neighbors.

After all, I could spend all my time volunteering for church activities and never actually be following Christ in His mission for my life. (Matthew 7:21).  I long to say, “I finished the work You gave me to do” (John 17:4) when I see Christ in all His glory.


One comment

  1. It is such an eye-opening revelation when we see that the mission field is the pediatrian’s office, the playground, the playgroup moms, the park… may we be embassadors in our everyday, real life!

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