The Urban Missionary

When we think of missionaries we usually think of someone out in a tropical jungle, wearing kakis maybe, speaking a foreign language and surrounded by little native children. Granted, there certainly have been many a notable missionary who has served in a foreign country, in a remote location, and greatly impacted the natives by building schools and hospitals. Missionaries to foreign countries have brought Christian alongside the local culture which has greatly improved the quality of life for the locals. These missionaries have done ground breaking work and set a tremendous example.

The need to foreign missions has not gone away, and indeed, will always be there. But what about the urban missionary? This missionary might wear a pair of jeans and t-shirt, or a suit and tie. This missionary will speak his or her own language, and maybe even live in their home town. We’re talking here about being a missionary to your own people. This might be your full time calling, or something you do whenever God lays someone across your path, or shows you a need that you can fill.

As an urban missionary you may never be called upon to speak about your missionary efforts at a church or a convention. You may never even be called a missionary by anyone, but there is still a tremendous need for your efforts.

Our urban metropolises are rife with needy people. In places where technology is quickly replacing the human touch, someone who extends a smile or a kind word, act of love can make a tremendous impact. If you feel a calling to serve in some way, but going abroad as a missionary has not been presented as an option, then begin to give right where you are.

Dr Moody said this and it’s true: “The only Bible many people ever read is one bound in shoe leather.” Take God to the people around you, whether they are half dressed natives in Papua New Guinea, or Armani clad Wall Street bankers. You might not think your efforts are of any real tangibile value, but you just might be surprised.

One day Heaven will reveal how many people’s lives have been saved because someone showed concern, compassion, interest and friendship. Wherever God has placed you, there is a need for your special brand of care and friendship. Cultivate your missionary heart, and it might take you to the heart of Africa or Asia or maybe just down the street. Either way it will matter.