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TEENAGERS

How to Think Like a Missionary

By Doug Tegner
of Challenge 2000

CBN.com - A missionary is someone who crosses lines of culture to introduce other people to the gospel of Jesus Christ. He or she is someone who leaves the safety, familiarity and comfort of a "natural" environment to cross boundaries into a "different" culture to impact others for Jesus Christ.

The greatest missionary who ever lived was Jesus Christ who left the glory and comfort of heaven to dwell among people on earth. He made the ultimate jump across cultural barriers. Jesus became flesh and came to earth to "dwell" among us. (John 1:1 & 14), yet the overwhelming majority of people did not receive Him (John 1:12).

But as you venture out as a missionary into a spiritually blinded world, you will face a built-in resistance and opposition as you identify with Christ.
The last night before Jesus went to the cross, He prepared His disciples (including future disciples – us!), for the response they might anticipate when they follow Him while living in a spiritually lost world. "If the world hates you, keep in mind that if hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." John 15:18-19

Not everyone will hate or oppose Christians. Not every disciple will be physically attacked or assaulted. But as you venture out as a missionary into a spiritually blinded world, you will face a built-in resistance and opposition as you identify with Christ.

Beginning with this understanding, you won't take people's questions, apathy or even verbal opposition personally. It may not be you or your personality that they are opposing. It is more likely the reality of Christ they see in you. Therefore we begin with the reality that our Christian worldview and message will likely clash with those we meet.

Here are some realities to anticipate as we think like a missionary on a school campus or in the workplace.

Missionaries are "on a mission" with God.

Jesus promised to go with His devoted followers as they minister in a needy world, seeking to reach those who are eternally lost (Matthew 28: 19-20). He will go with you as you seek to minister on campus. You are not alone!

Missionaries begin to minister where God is already working around them.

Be spiritually alert and responsive when doors for ministry open around you. Wherever you go, God is “already there first.” Look for ways He is already softening hearts and creating opportunities for you to minister in His name.

Missionaries seek to reach specific people groups and introduce them to Jesus Christ.

As global missionaries move to a distant country, they generally pray and discern which specific people group within the nation they should invest their time in reaching. Likewise, you may have specific groups of students on your school campus (or in the workplace) that God has allowed you to have special proximity to.

Missionaries work best in teams and in partnership with other believers.

Before you take on the role of Campus Missionary, find a team to join you in prayer and to share in an outreach commitment. Look for two others you can link up with to begin a Prayer Triplet (Ecclesiastes 4: 9, 10).

Missionaries work hard to understand the culture of those they seek to reach.

Missionaries work to relate eternal truths in understandable language, guarding against words that only long-term Christians use and understand. Find the tools to help you share the good news of Jesus in a relevant manner.

Missionaries have a deep sense of being "called by God" to their field of ministry.

Your personal relationship with God and a confident assurance that He wants you to minister on your campus/workplace will keep you passionate and focused in ministry, helping you weather storms or discouragement.

Realize that as a Campus/Workplace Missionary, you are in the midst of an awesome move of God! His desire is that “none should perish” (2 Peter 3: 9, 10, and by His Spirit, He will work with you so that your friends and others will come to know Him personally. Your role as a Missionary is huge in God’s worldwide plan!

Challenge 2000, a Christianity.com network partner, exists to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every teenage, in every school, in every community.

2000 Challenge 2000 Used by permission.

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