Whose mission field?

A large sign near the exit of The Church of the Holy Spirit (an Anglican church in Roanoke, VA), reads "You are now entering your mission field."

This represents a radically different attitude toward missions. Your home, the restaurants you frequent, your workplace, the places where you play - all these locales are your mission field, the place to which God has called you.

Did you catch this in the talk from Sunday night? Scott and Susan are thinking deeply about this idea. Washington and Lee is part of their mission field: Scott is in missions through his service as Registrar/Director of IR and Susan is in missions through her service as Coordinator for Suicide Prevention.

Talk to Scott or Susan for ten minutes and you start to get a feel that they aren't just killing time in Lexington. They have a passion to serve people in St. Vincent, but that passion feeds off of and complements their passion to serve God in Lexington. Here are some thoughts as to how it's possible to desire to serve God both locally and abroad...

Firstly, in listening to Scott and Susan, they have a real awareness of God at work in their day to day context. This means that their desire to serve in St. Vincent isn't from a theology that says "God isn't at work in Lexington." They don't need to go abroad to "find" God. An awareness that God is at work in your day to day context is essential to keeping your passion for local, daily mission alive. Your mission field is also God's mission field.

Secondly, Scott and Susan approach their missions opportunities (both locally and abroad) with a great deal of humility, a right view of themselves. This humility leads to both their understanding that what they're doing in Lexington isn't the only thing God's doing (creating a desire to serve abroad) and their understanding that what God's doing in St. Vincent isn't totally dependent on their involvement (creating a freedom to return to Lexington). Have you seen this at work in them? Reflect on Susan's comments about the spiritual growth in the team and her prayer request that God would allow them to partner with Vincentians on the next trip. Humility, right?

Lastly, Scott and Susan serve a missionary God. Unless you also serve a missionary God, you will always be torn and always be pressured to go and serve in places where it looks like He's dropping the ball. But He never drops the ball. As I said before, your mission field is also God's mission field. Or better yet, God allows you to serve in His field. Whether you're going to St. Vincent with the Dittmans or St. Louis with Urbana, your calling is always to God's field. He's at work before you get there and He'll be at work long after you've left. So, feel free to serve both locally and abroad: it's all His field.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:21 PM

    That puts a new perspective about ministry, particularly with the poor. Without actually saying it, I always think that God has left these people and needs me to feed them, clothe them, etc. God hasn't dropped the ball.