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Lt. Colonel Karol Seiler | Is Everyone a Missionary?

Words of Life / Salvation Army
The Truth Network Radio
July 4, 2021 1:06 am

Lt. Colonel Karol Seiler | Is Everyone a Missionary?

Words of Life / Salvation Army

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July 4, 2021 1:06 am

As we began developing this series, a question that came up early on was, “Is everyone a missionary?” The question was, is being a “missionary”, a spiritual calling like preaching or teaching- or are we as Christians ALL missionaries? In this episode, Bernie, Cheryl and Karol unpack this question.

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Hi, this is Bernie Dake. Welcome to the Salvation Army's Words of Life. Hi, I'm Megan Hoffer, and I want to invite you to check out another show brought to you by the Salvation Army. Heartbeat is a one-minute show about real life. Heartbeat touches on topics ranging from finances and prayer to dating and mental health. Recently, I began feeling like my life was on autopilot.

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Our God is faithful, forever faithful. Hi, welcome back to Words of Life. I'm Cheryl Gillum. And I'm Bernie Take.

Hey, Bernie. We've got Lieutenant Colonel Carol Seiler back with us this week. Glad to be here. Welcome.

Thank you. We're glad you're here. Last week, we began our new series on missions, and we discussed a global view of how the Salvation Army goes about mission work. This week, we're going to discuss an interesting question that came up as we were developing this series, and I think it came up last week in that series, too, and that is, is everyone a missionary?

Yeah, it's an interesting question because I think most of us as Christians might quickly say, well, yeah, of course we are. But there's more to it. Is being a missionary a calling like to teach? We don't all have the same callings and gifts. Let's hash this out.

What do you think? Well, I agree with that. I think that just as pastors, evangelists, teachers, all of those areas are specially called by God for a ministry, a missionary is a special call of God for a distinct ministry. So Jesus set apart His 12 disciples, or His apostles, and He sent them out to His own people, Israel, and later He set apart others like Paul and Barnabas to be apostles to the Gentiles, and the idea of being sent is central in both of those cases. So the apostles, in essence, were the first missionaries at home and foreign missionaries. But what they were sent to do that ordinary Christians might not be asked to do is what is different about them. Because they were commissioned, first of all, we find with the 12 apostles that they left their secular occupations.

They set those things aside, and they were devoted specifically to teaching and preaching. And in addition, the second missionaries, the foreign missionaries, were being sent to cross both geographical and cultural boundaries to win Gentiles to Christ. And I think that's what sets us apart from those who are being sent as missionaries.

Sure. I think, too, we have, usually, and particularly in the United States, there's such a disparity between economic position in life. You can have, in our neighborhood here in Atlanta, we can go one block and be in an extremely wealthy part of our community and the other direction, one block, you could be in a very poverty-stricken part of our community. So missionaries, being missionaries at home is just as important as considering it abroad. And that we have that example in the apostles and the teaching of, like you mentioned, Paul and Barnabas. You can be a missionary even if you get put into prison. Well, I think, as all believers, we are called to be missionaries. But I think the good point that you made is this calling to full-time ministry that sets us apart and that sets missionaries apart. I mean, God has a purpose for each and every person, an individual purpose that may take you someplace foreign to minister and to serve in that way. I don't want us to miss, however, the very basic of the fact that we are all called to preach the gospel or to communicate the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ. And services, just like you mentioned, right where we are, acts of service, just where we are, those are important things.

But I think what you touched on was very, very important is that call to full-time ministry. Right. And there are people who serve in other countries in other ways. They may go to another country to do another job, but they are still sent. They're sent in a way to live the gospel in front of other people. That's exactly right.

Yeah. Now, this is something that's important to me is the idea of the body of Christ. You've got a local church. You're involved in a local community. And maybe that church sends you out so that wherever you're serving, you've got support, whether that's prayerful support, financial support, or some other practical aspect of support. But I like that idea because we do missions trips within the United States just to other communities where you can teach your young people or people that otherwise don't know what being a missioner is all about.

And I love that about the Salvation Army. We've got resources. We've got boots on the ground in so many different communities. Last week, you mentioned we're all around the world.

I think the number this week is 135 countries around the world where we're established, but we're working in even more. And that's an incredible opportunity. Yeah. And I think you touched on a really important point, too. It takes the body of Christ. We all have different gifts or different things that we can contribute. And maybe you can't even be the one to go into the next neighborhood and minister, but you have the resources to do that.

Maybe you can't go to another country, but you have the resources to help someone get there. That's a part of the unity of the body of Christ, which is so important. So what are the individual challenges that a missionary might face in regards to going abroad and fulfilling the calling that God has on their life?

I think one of the challenges is always a financial challenge, just having the kind of financial support that they need to continue their ministry in the country or in the place even within the United States that they choose to serve that cannot be self-supporting. Christ asks his followers to die to themselves and to take up their crosses and follow after him in Matthew 16. And taking up a cross and dying to self are not comfortable actions.

And I believe that Christians should always be willing to step outside their comfort zone in any situation that God may place them in, whether that's the missionary or the person who's supporting them. And I think that Christ calls his followers to stop seeking earthly riches and to not worry about the future and to live sacrificially. And often we say, well, I'm not going, so I don't need to live sacrificially. But if we are going to support the work that Christ has called us to do, whether that's to go or whether we're staying home, then I believe that we still have to live sacrificially and to seek the good of others. And all of that runs contrary to what this world is telling us to do. We're supposed to feather our own nest.

We're supposed to be building up our own bank accounts and buying bigger homes and furnishing them beautifully and comfortably. But that's not what we're called to do as Christians. So whether we're leaving the country to work as a missionary in an underdeveloped country or simply stirring up the courage to talk to our fellow workers about Christ, we can have confidence that God will not leave us or forsake us if we're doing what he's called us to do. And I wonder if maybe a prayer that we could pray in our own lives is, Lord, stir in my spirit how you want me to give and what you want me to give to in regards... Or who do you want me to give to? What missionary do I need to be supporting? And that stirring in the spirit in our hearts, I mean, you can't go wrong. That's God's heart as he speaks to our heart. When you hear the story of a missionary who maybe comes to your church or maybe you're just having a conversation with someone who is doing some kind of a ministry, whether in this country or somewhere else, and you feel that connection with them, I think that that is God stirring your heart to give to them to support them.

And that's the body of Christ working at its best. Hey, if you have questions about how to support someone that's interested in missionary work or you want to know more about what the Salvation Army is doing in missions, contact your local Salvation Army or reach out to us right here at Give us a shout. We will do everything we can to give you some information or point you in the right direction. And we actually have a world service office that can tell us even more about what's happening around the world with micro banking and all kinds of different things that we're doing in communities where the Salvation Army has hospitals and has schools and has feeding programs for people that go without on a day-to-day basis.

So we're in the trenches for sure. And Colonel Seiler, we thank you for being in the trenches and helping those people that are called to this specific ministry. The Salvation Army's mission, Doing the Most Good, means helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army. Visit to offer your support.

And we'd love to hear from you. Email us at Call 1-800-229-9965 or write us at P.O.

Box 29972, Atlanta, Georgia 30359. Tell us how we can help. Share prayer requests or share your testimony. We would love to use your story on the air. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes or your favorite podcast store. And be sure to give us a rating. Just search for the Salvation Army's Words of Life. Follow us on social media for the latest episodes, extended interviews, and more. And if you don't have a church home, we invite you to visit your local Salvation Army worship center. They'll be glad to see you. This is Bernie Dake inviting you to join us next time for the Salvation Army's Words of Life. Thanks for watching.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-24 22:37:22 / 2023-09-24 22:42:20 / 5

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