Kyle Shreve- Missionary to Peru

3 bad excuses for not being a missionary
April 24, 2015, 11:38 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Let me say this clearly and plainly up front: I really, truly don’t believe that everyone should be a missionary. But I think there’s a lot of Christians who should be missionaries who aren’t, and they’re making excuses about it.

And I know several people who are desirous of serving on the mission field, but are unable to because of medical, or other uncontrollable circumstances. That is also not what I am talking about in this article.

Here, then, are three bad excuses for not going to the mission field.

1- “Don’t you know there are lost people here you could witness to?”

Granted, there are plenty of lost people here who don’t know the gospel and have little to no Christian witness in their life. I readily admit that. In fact, there are people (in Georgia) that i had the privilege of being the first person to share the gospel with them.  But the overwhelming majority of lost people live outside of America.

If the church is going to effectively reach the lost of the world, we are going to need to send hundreds and thousands of our own overseas with the intent of lifelong service. A relatively small need (in comparison to the 95% of the world outside of America) remains here in America, no doubt. But when you compare the 320 million souls in America to the 6.7 billion souls outside of America, there can be no doubt as to where the majority of lost people are, and, correspondingly, where the majority of the church’s focus, servants, money, prayers and attention should be.

2- “I’m not a radical Christian/I’m not that spiritual/I’m not able/ etc….

This is the classic “I can’t be a missionary because of who I am” argument. And, as I mentioned previously, there are people who have some sort of factor in their lives that really do hinder them from going to the field, be it medical or other. But those cases are not excuses. Those are the truth.

“I have a medical condition and have to stay in the States where I can receive treatment, so I can’t be a missionary.” That is not an excuse.

“I can’t speak well in front of people, so I can’t be a missionary.” That is an excuse.

There are very few factors based on who we are that should keep us from the mission field. This is for (at least) 2 reasons:

1-Most inabilities (poor speaking ability, shyness, inability to learn language, etc…) can be overcome with hard work and dedication. By the way, hard work and dedication can be learned as well. The “I’m not a hard enough worker to be a missionary” excuse is easily remedied: work harder!

2- The inabilities we do truly have are a fantastic opportunity for God’s grace to manifest itself in our lives. Or, that’s what Paul seemed to think in 2 Corinthians 12. That when he was weak, that was when he was actually strong.

Do not let yourself be an excuse for not going to the mission field.

3-Missions isn’t that important.

“Missions is just a program we do here. We have a missionary come by, he says some things, shows some pictures, takes some money, and then leaves. Not a big deal.” I’ve never had this said to me on deputation, praise the Lord, but there are plenty of churches and Christians out there who DO have this attitude in a very blatant way.

But most of us have this attitude in a passive way, and may not even realize it. Casual racism towards other people, not keeping missions in front of us, having a negative attitude about missions or missionaries all lead to lessening the value and importance we place on missions.

(Adversely, missionaries who aren’t all they should be, and don’t live up to their office can give others the impression that missions isn’t as important as it should be. Let that be a warning to myself and other missionaries.)

But there is also this idea that missions began in Matthew 28 with the great commission verses. And that is just not true. I admit that there are 2 chapters in the old testament when missions wasn’t a thing. In Genesis 1-2, we don’t see missions, simply because there is no sin, hence, no need for missions. But once we get to Genesis 3, we find that sin has entered the world, and God brings Adam & Eve back to Himself, and since then,  He has been on a mission to redeem all of mankind.

Genesis 12:1-3 Is the beginning of the nation of Israel. And Israel wasn’t just created to be a means to itself. God told Abraham that  through Israel all the families of the earth would be blessed.

Missions has been, and always will be, through the bible. To not think missions is the heartbeat of God and the constant theme of the bible it to misunderstand the bible.


There are many more excuses people use to avoid the mission field, but these are three  I’ve been thinking about lately.

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