Answer: Christian missions is following Christ’s call: sharing the gospel with the lost world through God’s wisdom and strength.
Christian missions is obeying Christ
After Christ’s death and resurrection, the Lord commanded the disciples to share the gospel, the message of His redemption: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19–20).
This Great Commission applies to Christians today. Rather than weighing us down with a burden, obeying God’s call brings joy and reward in heaven. We should fulfill our mission not out of duty but love: “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. . . . All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:14–21).
God could convert everyone using a blinding light and the voice of Christ as He did with the apostle Paul. Instead, He gives Christians the mission of reconciliation (Acts 1:8–9). He works through us, calling sinners to turn to Christ in repentance and faith.
Christian missions is sharing Christ
Our mission is proclaiming Christ as the only Savior from sin and the only way to abundant, eternal life. Whom do we tell? Jesus told Christians to reach out to “all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Jesus sends us to all people groups, to every ethnic culture without a gospel witness.
Christian missions, however, is not limited to overseas ministry. While believers should faithfully support those who go to the unreached on foreign soil, all Christians have the mission to share Christ on the home field with family, friends, coworkers, and the community.
The Christian mission of sharing Christ does not end with a sinner’s salvation. The commission was to make disciples—not immature believers. Thus, Christian missions involves not only evangelism but also discipleship.
Christian missions is relying on Christ
Sharing the gospel humbly, boldly, and passionately is our Christian mission. But we cannot do it alone. The power and results of Christian missions come from the Lord. He gives us the wisdom, strength, and desire to witness! Through our witness, He works repentance and faith in the sinner’s heart (2 Corinthians 5:20–21).
Although missions is ultimately God’s work, Christians are responsible to understand and share the gospel and to have a strong relationship with Christ. Such a relationship guards against hypocrisy. “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander” (1 Peter 3:15–16). Jesus assured us that suffering would accompany missions, but God uses even suffering for good (Romans 8:28).
In sum, Christian missions is obeying Christ, sharing Christ, and relying on Christ. Specifically, God sends missionaries through the support of the church to the unreached. All Christians, however, have the mission of reconciliation. The Lord works through them to rescue the lost. What greater mission can one fulfill?