I’ve been pondering the types of people, professions, and perspectives that might best write to the Christian church in the coming years. No Christ-follower can look at the world around us without seeing it unraveling at an astounding pace.
Thinking back to the 1990s when Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye created the first books of the fictional Left Behind series, they would have been roundly mocked if they included what is happening now in 2023. But as Mark Twain wrote, “It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.”
Who are the people already among us who can be of great help to Christ-followers with different perspectives on living in a hostile world?
A few weeks ago, I suggested one group could be those with a military background. After all, they have been trained, thrust into the breach of an uncomfortable world, and ordered to deal with it.
Today, I suggest another group that could be very helpful for all believers to consider giving attention: those who have given some or all of their lives to Christian mission work, domestically or abroad, have a battle-tested faith, and are worth giving some attention to. Why?
They have a purpose:
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20, NLT).
They know what it is to live as an exile. They know their citizenship is not on this earth:
So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family (Ephesians 2:19, NLT).
They know more than most people about the cost of discipleship, considering everything loss compared to knowing and serving Christ (Philippians 3).
They know who deserves their complete loyalty:
And they sang in a mighty chorus: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered— to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing” (Revelation 5:12, NLT).
They depend completely on God. If they are not trusting God for their next breath beforehand, they certainly end up growing in dependence while serving.
Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning (Lamentations 3:23, NLT).
They act as Christ’s ambassadors:
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:34-35, NLT).
Missionary writers still need to find ways to help sell their books, but they certainly have a perspective that might be of substantial help to other Christ-followers. If you have a strong media platform, you might consider “adopting” a writer with a missionary or military background, amplifying their message.
Like those in the military, missionaries are equipped and sent out to fight a battle, but not against flesh and blood.