I’ve been reading the book, Don’t Waste Your Life, by John Piper. It’s excellent, and has a lot of good insights in it. I’ve liked every John Piper book I’ve read, and this is no exception. The last chapter is about missions, and while he stresses that you don’t have to be a foreign missionary to keep from wasting your life, you do need to consider it and be willing to go if God sends you. He had an excellent analogy in there of comparing the church’s task of missions to a war.
In a war, certain people are rigorously trained, properly equipped, and sent out to the front lines of battle. But back at home, there are vast numbers of people building guns, planes, and tanks, sending supplies, praying for the safety of the soldiers, and excitedly receiving any news from the front.
In one sense, we should all view ourselves as soldiers in this spiritual battle, but in another sense, this is a good analogy to the way the church should function. Everyone is either sending or being sent, and every task is valuable. Also, those of us who are senders should be ready for action when it becomes clear that we’re needed on the front lines.