The identity of missionaries...

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Daniel David, Dec 22, 2002.

  1. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    What is your view of missionaries? What are missionaries?

    Is a missionary say, someone who is a teacher in a foreign country and is a Christian who witnesses? No.

    Is a missionary a foreign pastor? No.

    Often, we see "missionaries" come to church and speak and talk about what they do. Well, all they do is work in another country and try to witness when they can. That is not the biblical identity of a missionary. Do y'all have any thoughts so far?
     
  2. Aaron

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    The word "missionary" is from the Latin translation of the word "apostle."

    It is an office.
     
  3. Pastor Larry

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    A missionary from the Latin does not establish one as the biblical office of apostle. The biblical office of apostle had certain requirements which can no longer be met. An apostle in teh generic sense is one sent but let us not confuse that with the Apostle.

    As for what a missionary is, I think a missionary is one who plants or grows churches. It usually has the context of a foreign culture/country, but need not necessarily have that, IMO. Once in Sao Paulo, I asked a veteran missionary what his life was like compared to an American pastor. He said he didn't know, he had never been one but he assumed it was pretty much the same. A missionary in a foreign country and a pastor in a native country have the same responsibilities -- proclaim the gospel, disciple converts, and reproduce churches of like faith and practice.
     
  4. Jim1999

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    The modern understanding of the word missionary comes from the modern word mission. "A particular task or goal......" Hence, a missionary or missioner, is a person in charge of a religious mission.

    In this modern world, we don't always employ biblical words, and we do adapt to modern usage of the English language. The modern Latin is missionarius from the Latin missio or French mittere missend.....missionaire

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  5. Pastor_Bob

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    A Missionary is one who is sent out by a local church to do evangelistic work (establish churches, starting Christian schools, soulwinning, teaching children about the Lord, etc...)

    We often think of a Missionary as one who leaves their native land to travel abroad. A Missionary can be sent to people in their own country.

    The Lord has given us the honor of helping support 43 Missionaries all around the world.
     
  6. Sherrie

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    I think a missionary is anyone who goes about anywhere; not just in another country seperate from theirs, and administers needs for others in the name of Jesus Christ. Whether it be Gods Word or giving blankets. It is a conbination of compassion, and love for your neighbor, whether long distance, or close. It is loving Jesus more than you love yourself.

    Everything we do, we should do in the name of Jesus Christ.

    Sherrie [​IMG]
     
  7. Aaron

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    The word apostle means "one who is sent." I certainly was not equating them to the Twelve Apostles, however, the manner in which the Apostles executed their office is the model which missionaires and all those who hold office should imitate.

    God has given Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers.

    A teacher is not necessarily a pastor, but a pastor must be a teacher.

    A pastor is not necessarily an evangelist, but an evangelist must be a pastor and a teacher.

    An evangelist is not necessarily a prophet, but a prophet must be an evangelist, pastor and teacher.

    A prophet is not an Apostle, but an Apostle must be a prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher.

    So also with missionaries, they must be prophets (proclaiming God's Word), evangelists, pastors and teachers.
     
  8. TheOliveBranch

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    A missionary also has to be called of God. One who goes, or is sent by a church, doesn't necessarily mean God called him to do that work. Supernatural intervention is what leads and drives them to do what they do. I have seen missionaries go out when they were not called to do so, and they fail the mission. Gods hand must be on them.
     
  9. Daniel David

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    Theolivebranch: I think you perceive this "call" to be more than it is.

    Check out this link: click here

    Also, how is it you determine failure?
     
  10. Ernie Brazee

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    There are foreign missionaries and "home" missionaries.

    The foreign missionaries we have had present their work in our church are not pastors. They start churches and when the church is organized they call a man who has been trained by the missionary to be the pastor. The missionary no longer oversees that work, it is a local independent work. The missionary is available to assist the local pastor but is not "in charge". Once the work is organized it is the local pastor under the Lord that leads the church. The missionary then works with other local pastors. Sometimes the missionary may be working with more than one work, training the men to eventually take the work and be the pastor. The missionaries sent from our church retain their membership in our church as their home church.

    Home "missionaries" mostly are pastors who start a church and pastor that church.
     
  11. JIMNSC

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    I have some thoughts and also a question. I wonder how many missionaries away from their home right now might read your statements in this post and think, "Boy, was I fooled! I thought I was a missionary but I sure am glad PTW straightened me out."

    My view of missionaries as we use the word today is one of complete admiration.

    Now for my question - PTW, were you "called" to the ministry or was it something you just decided you'd do?

    Jim
     
  12. H.R.B.

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    I just always thought that I was a missionary.I think
    that every christian is a missionary. I think its just a big fancy word for anyone that talks about Jesus to someone else.

    Heidi
     
  13. Ernie Brazee

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    HRB

    I tend to agree with you. [​IMG]
     
  14. Daniel David

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    JimNSC, a couple of thoughts:

    1. This thread is about the biblical usage of the term missionary (which would be apostle - not the original 12). Frankly, if a person is a teacher in another country and is a Christian and witnesses for Jesus, he is not a missionary in the N.T. usage. Feel free to prove otherwise.

    2. I seek the pastorate because I had a desire to be a pastor. See 1 Timothy 3:1 for the biblical reference.
     
  15. Ben W

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    The term missionary is not found in the bible, simply because it is the translation of the word Apostle. A modern day missionary fufills the biblical role of an Apostle.
     
  16. TheOliveBranch

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    When I was first saved, a missionary familycame home, knowing and admitting that the Lord didn't really want them in Africa. After living there for six months, suffering thru a case of malaria, his wife having a c-section in a very racial hospital and having mastitis and serious internal infections, the people didn't want them there, and the deacons admitted that they knew the family would fail, thye then went on to another church.

    Many others I have heard about never make it in the country they go to because they admit defeat and come home, never actually giving the Lord a chance to work.

    Are you saying that if someone wants to "go", that he doesn't need the Lord to send him? And if one were to admit he left on his own will that we can't safely say he wasn't called? Or how about this: the Lord calls and we don't go. Does one then assume that he was never actually called? Or, he goes, but finds himself in sin and returns. We can't question his calling. What about the wife that is called, or can that actually happen before the husband is called.

    So many ways to wrongly assume, yet in the heart, one knows who is called. There is a proper order for a missionary to follow before he leaves for the field. If he doesn't follow that order, then do we just sit back and let him go anyway?
     
  17. HankD

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    My opinion...

    Jesus words are as true today as when He said them while here in the flesh.

    "The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest".

    "success" and/or "failure" of a task are not God's criteria of success but obedience and faithfulness (without faith it is impossible to please Him).

    HankD
     

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