Becoming a Missionary and a New Perspective
Up until that point in my relationship with Jesus, I viewed missions in a traditional way. I saw missionaries as people who left their home to bring the message of Jesus to those who have never heard it. This is partially true, and the word missionary does mean “sent one.” Cross-cultural ministry, however, is not the only way the message of the gospel goes forth.
The Lord has called us to bring the message of the gospel to the ends of the earth, which includes those right down the street. I remember someone asking me, “Do you share the gospel with your neighbors?” It was a pivotal question for me to answer as I considered cross-cultural missions. I realized I could never expect to share the gospel cross-culturally if I was not even sharing it at home.
The Lord grew my heart for those who do not know him, and he opened up some amazing opportunities to share the gospel in my own community. It was not until later the Lord grew my passion for the unreached people groups of the world.
There are thousands of unreached people groups in the world. These are people groups where less than 2% of the population has heard and/or received the gospel. During my time in Equip, I learned how to be a missionary and pursue effective cross-cultural ministry here in New York City.
How to be a missionary to the unreached
Globalization has brought many of these people groups to our front door. For example, many people groups from the Middle East are fleeing dangers in their war-torn countries. This has led them to find asylum in urban settings in the United States and Europe.
New York City is a perfect example. Queens County alone has more than 130 spoken languages! Sharing the gospel with your neighbor here is quite often a cross-cultural experience. It has been an exciting transition from a rural area to the multicultural setting of New York City this year. It opened up many opportunities to share the love of Jesus cross-culturally while learning how to be a missionary.
Being on mission with the Lord can look many different ways. A passion for cross-cultural ministry brought me to New York City. While I am here, I am learning how to be a missionary and preparing to serve the Lord long term in a cross-cultural context. Equip has allowed me to experience and grow in sharing Jesus with many different people groups from around the world. In my neighborhood alone, I have had the opportunity to share Jesus with Albanians, Pakistanis, Iranians and Turkish people — just to name a few.
There is nothing more exciting than learning how to be a missionary and joining God in what he is doing in this world! Whether by reaching out to your neighbor with the incredible love of Jesus and gospel message or serving cross-culturally with unreached people groups, we are all called into the eternal purpose in the Great Commission. May the Lord use us all to glorify him and welcome more and more people into the hope of eternal life found in Jesus!
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Check out our Equip Missionary Training Program. A ten-month church-planting and cross-cultural missionary training program in the culturally vibrant and diverse heart of New York City.