International (MNN) — You don’t have to be a missionary to have a heart for the Great Commission. In fact, you can be mission-minded and motivated wherever you are. But what does that look like?
Matt Morrison of e3 Partners, a ministry dedicated to spreading the Gospel, says having a heart for missions becomes evident in every area of your life.
“To me, what I really believe it is, is living intentionally, living in such a way that you’re not just focused on what your job is that day or how to manage your relationships that day, but really seeing what God wants to do through those relationships, through your job in your life.”
In other words, you’re using your sphere of influence to propel the Gospel forward — whether that’s at work, home, or in your neighborhood. However, there are many challenges to keeping this perspective day-in and day-out.
“It’s kind of like Peter stepping out of the boat. You know, he starts to notice how big the storm is and how big the waves are and gets his focus off Jesus and he starts to sink — I think the same thing starts to happen with our focus, we get to that place where we’re just seeing all the waves crashing around us, we get our eyes off Jesus, and then suddenly we’re not so intentional about doing something with the opportunities and the passions that God’s given us.”
Morrison says we can often find ourselves in survival mode — just trying to get through the day, defending our own interests. But God has called His people to live offensively for His Kingdom.
“I think we sometimes think God blesses us with certain things in life for our enjoyment, but that’s not really the case. He’s blessing us with those things so we can use them,” he explains.
So the question is, how do we begin to use the gifts God has given us for His glory, and to tell others about Him? Morrison says it’s about intentionality. He shares three steps to begin that journey.
Prayer is a huge part of mission work. In fact, many people believe it is the most important component. Morrison says, “What we have found overseas is that prayer is everything.”
Recently on a short-term mission trip to Germany, Morrison and the team spent the first few days walking around the community, praying for opportunities to speak to the refugees there.
“What I noticed is every day we came back out on the mission field and it seemed like the ground was just getting a little bit looser, it seemed like the people were becoming a little friendlier, and it seemed like opportunities were opening up.”
Eventually, they were having deep conversations with refugees who wanted to know more about Jesus.
“I honestly believe, had we not started all of that with prayer, there’s no way we would have experienced that harvest at the end of the week. The prayer was basically the foundation to everything else we did that week.”
Similarly, ask God to show you how you can get involved in the Great Commission.
“Just let God use those opportunities, use those passions, those giftings that He’s given you. Because He’s built you in a very specific way and He’s going to use you to impact the world in a very specific way. So just, basically, offer those up to the Lord and say, ‘Lord, take these passions, take these longings, these giftings, these talents, and Lord, just use them,’ and you’ll be amazed at what He does from there.”
If you’re wondering what action to take next, it’s a good idea to start with the opportunities around you. Check out the local ministries in your community or through your church. Take classes on how to share the Gospel relationally and effectively. Take time to investigate something you’re passionate about.
These starting points will help you build upon the intentional ministry Morrison is talking about.
His final advice is to pray about whatever situation or cause God is calling you towards. Pray that He would give you opportunity and show you how He wants you to help. This could be people at your work, in your community, or women overseas who are caught in human trafficking. Ask Him to help you take the next step.
Short-term mission trips
Perhaps your next step is go on a short-term mission trip. E3 Partners has many trips all over the world each year dealing with a variety of humanitarian work, in addition to Gospel outreach. These trips are usually about 10 to 12-days long. They are shorter than many other short-term trips, but they also give people enough time to learn about the work going on in different parts of the world.
For many, Morrison says, these types of trips amplify the call God is giving them to enter the mission field.
“What we’ve found, especially for college students, is they’ll go on one of these mission trips thinking they’re called to missions, and then God just really amplifies that call, He really makes it a lot clearer in their lives.”
Another thing these mission trips accomplish is they inspire people to make a real impact. Recently, e3 surveyed people who had gone on a short-term mission trip and those who had never been, asking them what they expected out of a mission trip.
“There’s a very distinct change in priority. We noticed people who have never been overseas in a mission setting, they would say, ‘I’m looking for a great experience, I’m looking for great personal discipleship, I’m looking for a life-changing experience or the chance to meet new cultures.’”
For those who had gone and served, however, the expectation was completely different.
“They want to go to a place where they can start to make a bigger impact. They want to go on a trip that’s well organized so that they can make sure whatever they’re doing over there has a long-term effect.”
To learn more about upcoming mission trips with e3 Partners, click here. You can also find resources about how you can be involved with mission work through prayer, giving, and going.