It is a typical conversation starter in our culture to ask someone what they do for a living. Personally, I get asked this question quite often. My answer always seems to confuse people though.
I am an American missionary. The typical response is usually, “Oh, so what country are you a missionary to?” This is where the confusion starts. I am a missionary sent to America. I know what you’re thinking, “Does America really need missionaries?” I know it is hard to believe that God would send me to America as a missionary when there is a church on just about every street corner. However, the way I see it, with all the churches in America, shouldn’t this country look different? Shouldn’t our culture be filled with Christ followers that are transforming the world?
Unfortunately, the current climate in our culture and faith statistics says otherwise. There is something fundamentally wrong with the way that we as a church culture in America are fulfilling the commands of God. God showed this to me very early in my walk and as a result called me to be a missionary to America, because our country and Christian culture is in desperate need of change.
My work as a missionary looks very different from what you would generally think of when you think of a missionary. Most missionaries travel to a foreign country, usually one that the Gospel has not been widely accepted, to plant churches and convert believers. They usually spend all their time learning culture and building relationships in various towns in order to spread the Gospel.
Being a missionary to America, where the Gospel is readily available to any and all whether they want to hear it or not, looks entirely different. The Gospel is still my focus, but our culture and churches are filled with people who say they know Christ, but deny Him by their deeds. Over the years, the Gospel in our country has been turned into a simple decision that doesn’t come with any cost. As a result, many make a half-hearted decision to “believe” in God because it seems like a good idea.
I can’t count how many times I have had conversations with supposed believers that have no idea what it means to follow Christ. I have baptized many family members that grew up in the church and made professions of faith early on in life only to come to a point in their life realizing that their profession of faith was empty and resulted in nothing more than a vain prayer. The question I always ask them is, “If you truly are a follower of Christ, why doesn’t your life resemble the change and life of those that we see making the same decision in the Bible?”
Don’t get me wrong. Our walk with Christ is a process. The change takes time and effort, but none-the-less the change happens. I have spoken with so many that have been “believers” for 5, 10, 15, and 20 years and no apparent change has taken place. They still have to be poked and prodded by their pastors (if they have one at all) to get out and live the life that they claim to have accepted.
We love to glorify those who are doing “big things” for God, but from what I can see in the Bible, shouldn’t all who have chosen to surrender to follow Christ be doing “big things” for God? Shouldn’t it be the norm in our churches where members are bearing fruit, witnessing to non-believers, serving in their communities, and serving in the church? The answer is YES! This was the norm in the 1st century church and as a result the world was flipped upside down.
My Mission Field
Call it what you want, but I see all these confused and lied to believers as false “believers”. Every time I think about how many of these false believers there are in America, I cringe. What a terrible day it will be when these “believers” stand before God expecting to spend eternity in Heaven only to be denied entry. I read verses like Matthew 7:23 and it breaks my heart to think that so many are going to be turned away because they never really understood what it meant to be “saved”.
This is the mission field God has called me too. I know there are many who say, “Why would I go to a place to share the Gospel a second time when there are so many in this World who have not heard it for the first time?” I understand where they are coming from. However, I believe that these false “believers” were sold a version of the Gospel by someone who was taught to push for a decision instead of letting the Holy Spirit do His job and draw the person into a right relationship with God through Christ. We are so quick to close the deal that we don’t allow the natural sowing and reaping process that God intended to take place. As a result, we create false “believers” that walk around claiming Christianity without really knowing Jesus at all.
A Revolution of Revelation
I envision America the same way Ezekiel envisioned Israel in Ezekiel 37:1-14. God has called me to preach the truth, void of our traditions and norms, to these dry bones so that they may come alive. False “believers” don’t need another Gospel presentation followed by a time of invitation. False “believers” need to hear the Word of the Lord not from my mouth, but from His. As such, God has given me the vision of 12Two Missions. A ministry that focuses on radically changing the American Christian culture one life at a time through foreign and domestic missions. I am simply called to be the tour guide on a journey for people to meet with God in a very real way. My goal is to create opportunities for all believers (false or not) to experience God outside our everyday Christian traditions and norms.
I should add, I am not the one to go search out the weeds among the wheat. I am not the discerner of where individuals stand with God. In my limited and sinful wisdom, I can’t decide who is or isn’t a believer. Only God knows and as such, only God can be the one who brings the change. I simply help remove all the noise and distraction for people to have the time to ask God where they stand with Him. Like in the valley of dry bones, I believe with everything that I am that America will begin to hear a noise and a rattle that this country has never known before. A Revolution of Revelation will begin and the church will come to life! That’s the truth!