He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:32

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013 

Are We All Missionaries? Redefining the Mission for All Believers

The following is an excerpt posted with permission from the author, Dr. Greg Wilton. Please pray for him and his family and they are commissioned today to serve as missionaries in Southeast Asia. I heartily agree with the whole quote from Dr. Wilton, and appreciate the grace he pushes back with when making the case for reclaiming the term "missionary."

Those with the perspective that every Christian is a missionary are trying to help all Christians see that God’s mission is for all of God’s people. When you see the point behind the point, it not only makes sense, but it is also very helpful for Christian living and practice.
On the other hand, some disagree with the notion that all Christians are missionaries. For instance, Stephen J. Strauss and Craig Ott believe McLaren’s statement and subsequent belief distorts the specific calling on some Christians to devote their lives to full-time, cross-cultural witness:
If we nevertheless choose to call every Christian a missionary, then we will need to create a new term for the Christian who is specially called, gifted, and commissioned for cross-cultural mission. Otherwise, this unique, essential, and divinely appointed role is at risk of being lost altogether. (2010, 225) 
Strauss and Ott believe that all Christians are called to live on mission for God, but some are called to mission in a specific way. They believe the word “missionary” was created to help define a particular group of Christian men and women who were called to fill a particular kind of mission. They suggest new terms to replace what the word should mean, but I believe the word must not be replaced, but rather reclaimed.

- Dr. Greg Wilton @gregwilton

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