When you think of missionaries, do you think of them as being more like knights or like blacksmiths? Knights, right? They’re the ones who head far away into battle – they’re courageous, yet they’re alone. Sounds about right. They go into other countries, leaving behind their familiar country, their friends, their family to live in a foreign land.
But, do you ever think of them as being more like blacksmiths? What if they aren’t the ones wearing the armor and wielding weapons, but they’re the ones making them for others? Missionaries, and really all pastors, find greater satisfaction and progress not in doing all the work themselves, but rather in training others.
I was told this before I arrived in East Asia, but seeing it now with my own eyes really shows how true it is. It’s not only up to me to preach, or for me to teach, or for me to invite everyone – it’s about us. As I encourage leaders, train workers, and study God’s Word with other believers, our work grows faster than I could ever imagine. And, it not only grows faster, it grows stronger.
They say that there’s no better way to learn about something than to teach it to others. As I equip others to teach and to share the good news, I see these people planting themselves even more firmly into God’s Word. I also see the joy these people have of sharing the gospel with others.
It’s not my sole privilege, nor is it the missionaries’. It belongs to every believer because sharing the gospel with others is the natural response of a believer. I’m not alone on this battlefield. You are not alone. We’re together. We’re armed. We’re growing.
* Written by a missionary in East Asia