Everyone is a missionary. Everyone. From the CEO to the first grader to the barista, to the Christian serving in Burma. We are missionaries, telling and spreading the story of the object we worship. Pour your life into something and that same thing will spill out of you. It is not hard for us to meet someone and quickly pick up on their passion. We know people based on many different parts of who they are but also by what they do. We describe people by the job they have, the thing they do, the area of passion in their life. “That guy is a biker.” “She is an incredible designer.” “He loves to longboard.” We identify people by the part of their life they place the most drive and desire into. We are all designed to be passionate people.
Look no further than your nearest sports venue or bar and you will find a high concentration of passionate people. I am a huge Arizona Cardinal’s fan. Talk to me for a little bit and you will take notice of it. It might be the shirt I am wearing with the big red bird on it, or the continuous checking of my phone for Twitter updates, or my constant ignoring of you on game day. There is no question of my commitment to following this team. I pour money, time, emotions, and brain space into my fandom. You will see it and know it from spending time with me.
I am passionate about a team I do not own, players I have never met, and a game level I have never participated in. There is investment into something that, in reality, I can never truly be a part of. So, what does it look for me to be fully passionate about something or someone who I can be a part of?
Like a telephone pole struck by lightning, electric emotions and actions flow from the object that strikes us the hardest. The thing that strikes us is the thing we allow ourselves to be most attracted to. We are conductors for the passion that flows through us. It is in our human software to be passionate people. We are meant to truly desire and pursue things that are larger than us. The term ‘worship’ is used regarding our adoration and awe of the greater. People all over the world worship. We all worship something. Worship is pointing to something that is above us, bigger than us. We strive to be like or get more of that thing we worship. It is our fuel that drives us and the vehicle we store all we are in. For as inherently prideful we as creatures are, I believe deep down we all recognize our puny size compared to the world around us. We long to find something that is larger than life, more than anything we can be. Some see themselves as their own object of greatness and so they turn to their own self-image as holy grounds of worship. We do not worship something we consider equal and so the self-indulged worshipper must lift their self-image onto a throne they can never reach thus creating a cycle of frustration with their item of worship, their own self. It is a revolving door with no exit, an endless process of trying to worship your counterfeit self that your true self can never actually become or accept as real. It is an impossible lifestyle but many try getting into the door of self-worship.
For the rest, the majority, we seek a being, a force that is beyond our abilities, strength, and understanding. Travel the world and you will find all sorts of different objects of worship. All around there are different gods, different things people put their praise in. From Allah to nature, from science to money and power, from Yahweh to your own self. Even if we cannot point to an object in a temple, a historical book or an ancient belief as the means to worship, we are all worshippers. It’s the professional athlete that chases after trophies and achievements that shows worship. It’s the college student so focused on grades with hopes of future success; that is worship. It’s the monk who withdraws from the world in order to gain peace; that is worship. Mankind is striving to gain something out of normal reach. We become focused on one thing, strive for it, long to gain it, would do anything to have.
When there is something in our life that controls our drive and becomes our one desire, we become a missionary for it. It should be a recognizable truth in regard to all of us worshipping something or someone. When we worship, the object of worship becomes like fuel in a car. It drives everything in our life and when we let it power our engine, the gas fumes come spilling out as a bi-product. If I worship money, then I seek to gain money and that determines how I go about life. I would strive for the highest paying job, the materials in my life would reflect my income; I would learn to save smart because I would never want to lose that money. When I let that overtake my life, when I long day and night to gain money, my life looks differently from a version of myself that does not chase money. The people in my life become affected too by my worship. In the same example there are possible scenarios from my worship of money. My kids see my love for money and emulate it. They would put their toys above their relationships as greater worth. I would push my kids towards seeking monetary success as they plan their future. My friends would know of my love for money as well. They would know the seriousness in taking care to pay me back with any borrowed money. Wealth would be an easy subject to talk about with them and most likely, my friends and the people I surround myself with would have the same mindset as me. What I am getting at in this hypothetical example, is that we, ourselves, and the others around us are affected by what we pursue in life. We become aware of what a person’s worships because they make it known in every area of their own life. Therefore, we each spread the message being told by our object of worship.
Missionary is usually used within the context of Christianity and the goal of spreading the Gospel to other people. This writing is also being written within that context. What does it mean to be a true missionary for God? I wanted to show that everyone is missionary for the thing they worship. So, the actual question is, are you a worshipper of God? Does your life reflect Him so much so that people are affected by? Is God your passion, desire and drive? When we think of being a missionary for God, our minds jump only to the people overseas or those evangelizing to others. Being a missionary is much more than that. It is allowing your adoration of God to be so evident that people take notice.
Evangelism is not about what you speak about the most but what speaks the most about you.
Your love of God becomes so loud in your life that people cannot block it out. Over and over again, the Bible makes it clear that our purpose is to worship God and that we will spend eternity doing that in different ways just as there are different ways to worship Him now. The Christian’s life should absolutely be filled with worship of God, making all of us missionaries. For the Christians serving overseas with the title Missionary, the same should be said. Every mission has an end goal and ours as God’s people is that we reconcile others into worship of Him.