The Special Call of the Missionary
M. L. Walls
The story of Elisha is a very unique and interesting story. He was one of those among many whom God called to do a work for Him in declaring His Word and will to the people. The prophets were very few in comparison to the Levites and priests who ministered before the Tabernacle and Temple. The priests went to God for the people. The prophets went to the people for the Lord. The priests were priests because they were children of Levi. The prophets did not come from any specific tribe or family.
The missionary has a unique calling upon his life that is different than that of the man of God who evangelizes or fills the role of pastor of the local church. While they all have the call of God upon them, the calling of the missionary is uniquely different. The evangelist travels from state to state and ministers in churches in different areas of the country. The pastor shepherds the local assembly as the under-shepherd of Jesus Christ. The missionary, however, is called to a country and the people of that country. He cannot and will not fulfill the will of God with his ministry until and unless he goes to that country with the Word of God.
While all of God’s ministers are unique in that they are called of God to minister His Word, the missionary’s calling is different. The evangelist may decide that he does not want to preach in some area or church. The pastor may decide to leave one church and take the oversight of another church in another area. The missionary, however, is called to a country and the people of that country. He cannot and will not fulfill the will of God with his ministry until and unless he goes to that country with the Word of God.
So the next time you see a missionary, thank the Lord for such a person who is willing to obey the call that God has placed upon his heart. Because of him there will be people from another country and another race who will be in the rapture.
The World Missions Department has a wonderful group of missionaries who are ministering in several countries. Because of them hundreds every year are added to the Church of Jesus Christ. Only eternity will reveal the results of their efforts in reaching out to natives of other countries. They are able to do this only because people like you and I pray for them and financially support their ministry. In doing this we share in their ministry. And on that great day when we all stand before the judgment seat of Christ to be rewarded for our efforts we shall share in their rewards of labor.
Until we can come up with a better plan, our missionaries are called upon to visit our churches throughout the U.S.A. in order to raise the budget they need to live in some foreign country. While this is a very tiresome thing for the missionary to have to travel for thousands of miles across the country and spend one night services in churches across the nation, it is a necessity. To the local church family it is a blessing to have a missionary visit your church and share with you their burden for the country and people that the Lord has placed so heavily upon their heart.
The woman of Shunem felt greatly honored to have the prophet Elisha to stop at her house. She had her husband build a special room just for the prophet so that when he came by their house he would have a place to rest. Because of her love and concern for the prophet of God she was blessed greatly. Before the prophet came the home was empty. Then the prophet prayed for them and they were blessed with a son. Later, when that son died, they experienced a miracle when their son was raised from the dead because of the prophet.
Any church or any family who supports the work of the missionary will experience rich blessings from the Lord that they will never know any other way. If you and your church have the opportunity and honor to have a missionary visit your church you should be thankful to the Lord. You should treat that missionary with all the love and respect that he is due. See that he has a �room� that is comfortable. See that he has a good meal before you send him on his way. Treat him with all the love and respect as though it was Elisha coming to visit your church. Commit to supporting him on a consistent monthly basis. Include him in your prayers each day.
I can assure you that if you will do this your church and your personal life will experience rich blessings that you will never know any other way. Pastors, welcome the missionary to your pulpit with the honor and respect that you would show to Elisha. Give your church family opportunity to share in his ministry by allowing them to commit to supporting the missionary on a monthly basis. Your church will never suffer financially because of funds that are sent to a missionary instead on into your church treasury. In fact, your church treasury will experience a greater abundance of funds because you support the missionary efforts of World Missions.
I challenge every pastor and church that is not presently supporting the World Missions efforts to begin doing so on a monthly basis. By years end you will see the difference it will make in your church and in your personal life.
Let’s send forth our missionaries to their field of labor quickly for the hour is late. Let�s make sure they are able to stay in their field by faithfully supporting them with our prayers and financial help.
From: www.thecall.org web site. May 2007
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”