What is your summer mission field?
TWU students are all over the world during the summer months. Many are working. Some are traveling. Some are studying abroad. Some are serving at summer camps. A common question asked on campus in September is "How was your summer?" I hope you are having a good summer and also hope that you have opportunity to let your light shine wherever you are.
My heart has been stirred by several writers recently. Hudson Taylor wrote "The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed."
James S. Stewart wrote "The concern for world evangelization is not something tacked on to a man's personal Christianity, which he may take or leave as he chooses. It is rooted in the character of the God who has come to us in Christ Jesus. Thus, it can never be the province of a few enthusiasts, a sideline or a speciality of those who happen to have a bent that way. It is the distinctive mark of being a Christian."
One of the beauties of studying at a Christian liberal arts university such as TWU, is that students of every possible major have the privilege of interacting with professors and fellow students in a variety of disciplines from a Christian perspective. A Christian perspective includes the Great Commission - or it's not a Christian perspective. I have academic colleagues who teach Russian, Biology, Biblical Studies, Human Kinetics (and the list goes on and on) who embrace the Great Commission, but from within their discipline. That produces so many wonderful flavours! I happen to be a musician who desires to be obedient to the Lord's Great Commission. Watchman Nee called that "The Normal Christian Life." Watchman Nee's point is that living out the Great Commission aught to be a natural expression of our faith.
How can a musician make a difference in this world? I'd like to suggest that the possibilities are almost limitless, and certainly go well beyond the much over-used and sometimes abused phrase "leading worship" that is so common in our North American evangelical culture.
I'd like to tell you about a Ukrainian woman named Valentina. She is an extraordinary professional singer who has been a believer for just 14 years. Valentina spent the morning preparing care packages for impoverished widows. Each care package this week had a piece of frozen chicken, a pound of butter, a box of wheat cereal and a lemon. Several hundred widows are now receiving weekly care packages which will help to sustain them. Then Valentina helped to welcome widows to a Bible study. In a few hours she will be singing "In the beginning, God made heaven and earth . . . " (from the Book of Genesis) in a Kiev Symphony Orchestra and Chorus concert that I will be conducting. Her lovely and radiant face will communicate the peace and joy that she has in her heart - likely broadcast on television. Valentina is working in a culture that has recently been freed from communism. To hear her pray is to hear the voice of an angel. She is an example of a musician making a difference in this world, through her musical gifting and training, through her servant heart and through her obedience to Christ.
Do you wonder if you have a mission field before you? Read John 3 and John 4. Consider how Jesus interacted with the people that came into his path. Your mission field is the people on your path - it's just that simple.