Two bloggers are examining the term “missionary” and trying to put it into its scriptural context. This is difficult to do, since the term is not really a scriptural term. But, their both doing a good job getting people to think about the term “missionary.”
While Wes’ discussion begins with a consideration of the modern concept of “calling” (which follows from his previous post), he turns to another important topic:
The only thing that I want to add to the whole discussion on missionary calling is that I think we need to move beyond the sole focus on individuals, qua individuals, as the primary agents of mission/s. I believe scripture gives us an ecclesial emphasis in mission. Jesus sends the church. As members of a unified and maturing body, individuals gifted and set apart for service are sent in plural teams, as agents of the church. You see this repeatedly throughout the NT.
Also, Miguel at “Pathways International” wrote a post called “God-Directed Deviations in Missions: Defining Terms Part 2 ‘Missionary’.” As you can probably tell from the title, Miguel’s post is also a follow-up to a previous post.
For the most part, I believe that there has been given entirely too much weight to the idea of a missionary being an evangelist. As I said yesterday, there is only one version of bible that even uses the word “missionary” and that version has replaced the word evangelist with missionary on two occasions. Christendom, however has developed an entire doctrine about the word and has attached all sorts of connotations, expectations, and qualifications.
If a “Missionary,” is one sent on a “Mission,” (Our next term in this series), what prohibits the other Ephesians 4 characteristics/giftings from being given equal weight. What of those with the characteristics of an apostle, teacher, pastor, or even prophet.
Do you think it’s important to examine terms like “missionary,” to determine how they’re being used, and to try to put them into a scriptural context?