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Missionary- Who I Am, Not What I Do

by Dennae Pierre Published Sep 22, 2011

“Mission is not just one more task of God’s people, but it is our very identity: we are sent with the good news to embody in our lives, demonstrate with our deeds, and announce with our words God’s end time salvation. This defines the meaning of our entire lives.”

–Michael Goheen

Participating in God’s mission is not an option, it is our reality. The fact is, if you are a follower of Christ, then God has adopted you and you are his son or daughter. You may be a son or daughter who is representing your father well or you may be representing him poorly, but either way you remain his child.

My children love giving credit to what they do to the fact that they are “Pierre children.” They find all sorts of creative things to attribute to being a Pierre. Throughout the week I hear my children say things like, “Pierres read” or “The Pierre family serves others” or “Pierres belong to Jesus” or “Pierres work hard.” I am not sure how this line of thinking developed in our children, but I smile every time they say it.

They are right, all of those things (among many others) are things we want to define our family. But of course, each of us often fail. I like to remind my children that remaining a “Pierre” is not dependent on living like a “Pierre.” When they fail to do one of the above things mentioned, their status does not change in our family.  Our 20 month old doesn’t have to wait to be a “Pierre” until he can start serving us. When I am being lazy, I’m still a Pierre.

Of course, this is a great lead in to the fact that we are actually a part of an even better, more amazing family then the Pierre family. We are a part of God’s family and there are many, many things that we can say God’s family does. God’s family talks about Jesus. God’s family cares for the orphan. God’s family loves his Word. God’s family doesn’t gossip. God’s family is full of the fruit of the Spirit. And I could go on and on. I tell my children that once they have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior, that there is nothing they can do stop being a part of God’s family.

Now the question each day is if we will bring glory to God’s name or if we will bring shame. Will we live like we are a part of God’s family or like we belong to a different family? Will we show the world that God’s family is what God’s word says it is to be or will we hide God’s family from the world?  Whatever we chose each day, we remain in God’s family. And what is so precious about being God’s child is that on our most shameful day of living we will be just as much a son as the day we act most like Jesus. What a gracious God we serve!

I say all of that to say that being a Christian does not leave us with an option to join God’s mission or not. What if we lived each day fully convinced that we were to be the embodiment of the good news of Jesus Christ? What would our churches look like if we made decisions based on the fact that our life does not belong to us, but that it has been bought with a price and belongs to God and his purposes? Being a part of God’s mission is a part of our identity. It is who we are and it is to “define the meaning of our entire [life].” We cannot take a few days, weeks, or years “off” from being a part of God’s family anymore then I can take time “off” from being a mother, wife, daughter, or sister.

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