“I want to be a missionary!”

When I was in high school, somewhere, somehow (God!) I got it into my head that I wanted to be a minister.
I remember being nervous about telling my non-Christian classmates, so when asked, I told them I want to be a missionary!
I figured that this was more acceptable.
(At the time, the idea of a missionary meant more of a international ‘do-gooder’ than a religious worker).
Anyway, I find myself thinking back to that idea, and thinking that maybe I really should become a missionary.

As I see it, the primary focus of a minister is the church, whereas the primary focus of a missionary is the community.
And increasingly, God is softening my heart for the community, the people I live among.
As a minister I have allowed myself to become absorbed by the church – meetings, preparing lessons and messages, social functions, pastoral calls – and although these are real and often necessary (not always) activities, they leave little or no time for connecting with my neighbours.

Our one neighbour, a sweet, wonderful and spunky widow, is often outside when I am leaving, and she wants to talk.
Almost always I am on my way somewhere, and to stop and talk means I will be late.
I have no time to talk with her…

Anyway, now I am thinking about how I can change this.
One development is that I have accepted a call to a small, young church that began as a church plant, and continues to have a passion for reaching their community for Christ.
And I’m wondering about my role there – whether this time I am going to make connecting with my neighbours a priority?

I think that if people ask me what I want to do there, I am going to reply, I want to be a missionary!

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