First of all, there’s the stereotype:
Then there’s the fact that I grew up there that maybe-sorta-kinda complicates the whole thing:
(sorry for the cheese factor)
But aside from some of the glorification and/or denigration of missionaries in the past, here’s a pretty good description of what I think it means to live like a missionary. (Adapted from CrossWorld.)
[Missions] is not a bunch of fancy people doing something fancy. We routinely preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s the old religion that Christians have practiced day after day. We trust in Jesus, and we follow Him to the ends of the earth.
We are the brown bag mission. Nothing fancy. Mostly routine. Same powerful message of love and the resurrection: Jesus is alive. Believe in Him. Go tell others.
What do brown bag missionaries do? To be clear, they don’t have fancy strategies. They don’t dress fancy. They don’t pray fancy.
They labor hard, develop their skills, and pray everyday.
They preach. They teach. They translate. They counsel. They give medical care. They care for kids on the street. They teach their own kids. They help start churches. They help churches train leaders. They leave and go to the next place.
They fix pipes, start businesses, and teach English. They become neighbors, open schools, and build bridges, literally and figuratively. They brown bag it with determination in the communities of the world.
They leave their families. They take their kids. They make home in a new place. They ask other believers to walk alongside them. They ask churches to hear the call they hear.
They learn different ways of living. They learn other languages. They meet new people who don’t look or act like them. They take time to understand how those people are like them. They brown bag it with the people they meet.
They figure out where the Gospel has not been heard. They plan how to get there. They think about how to tell people about Jesus. They go and tell.
That’s right. A working-class missionary is something to be.