Be honest: when you think of “mission field” what are the first images that come to your mind? Africa? India? Primitive living conditions? Non-English speaking people? I think that’s what most people think of. To tell the truth, that’s what I used to envision.
But notice what Jesus said to His followers just before He ascended into heaven:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
The first mission field Jesus directed His followers to was Jerusalem. This was their “home town.” Maybe not the city they grew up in, but it was where Jesus conducted much of His public ministry; a place that His followers were intimately familiar with; the city where they currently lived.
- They knew the language.
- They knew the customs.
- They knew the layout of the city.
- They knew the elected officials.
- They knew the religious officials.
- They knew the local merchants.
- They knew where the synagogues and schools were.
- They knew this town.
Jesus didn’t call them first to someplace totally outside of their comfort zone. He called them to begin in their immediate surroundings.
Ponder this: you live in your “Jerusalem” and Jesus has called you to look at your city as your mission field. Your job … your school … your neighborhood … your barbershop … your local restaurants … these are all your mission field.
Don’t misunderstand: Missions is a worldwide endeavor, but don’t miss the point that your hometown is just as much a mission field as the other side of the globe is.
Strive to always be missionary-minded. Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you, and then go be an effective missionary in your Jerusalem first, and then allow God to expand your missions involvement to the ends of the earth.