Summary: A sermon preached at a missions conference to remind people to also consider their neighbourhoods, workplace/schools and family as mission fields.
The Forgotten Mission Fields
Ask people to boo the words ‘secular job’.
This conference is all about missions. I am sure that over this weekend many of you will be inspired to see yourself as missionaries. I am sure that many of you will receive prophecies or dreams about what God is going to do in your lives. My message this morning is one of both encouragement and warning. I want each and every one of us to realise that we are called to be missionaries.
I worked as a police officer in Britain before moving here. Last year I heard a quote that was made by the man who started the first police force in Britain.
‘The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen…’
Robert Peel 1829
I was inspired by this quote to look at being a missionary in the same way.
‘Missionaries are Christians and Christians are missionaries; missionaries being only members of the church who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen of heaven.’
Mark Holdcroft 2006
I believe that every Christian is called to be a missionary, whether you are paid for it or not. I am paid by churches in the United Kingdom, but it doesn’t make me any more of a missionary. I believe that we need to start operating as missionaries in the areas that God has placed us and only then will we start to find destiny and purpose in our lives.
I believe that there are many mission fields that have been forgotten about. We don’t recognise them as mission fields as we are concentrating on being released into the calling that we have on our lives.
Joseph was a man with a dream and he saw the dream come to pass. He had his calling, to be the ruler over his family. Many of you here will experience a calling.
2 Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers…
6 He said to them, Listen to this dream I had:
7 We were binding sheaves of corn out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered round mine and bowed down to it.
8 His brothers said to him, Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us? And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.
9 Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. Listen, he said, I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.
10 When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?
11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
He had a big dream, but it was thirteen years later before he was to start to see this dream fulfilled and over twenty years before it actually became a reality.
The first place that Joseph finds himself in, is in a pit. Why? Well, in part, it is because he has been a bit of a brat. He had a dream and he went around telling everyone about it, ‘I’m the man.’ I’m not surprised his brothers were a little upset with him.
They throw him into pit and sell him as a slave. I wonder what Joseph thought as he was in the pit, or as he was being sold into slavery. I bet it is not how he imagined his calling would begin.
This is Joseph’s first secular job – working as a slave.
How does Joseph react in his situation? Does he hang around doing the minimum necessary knowing that one day God’s got a great calling for him?
1 Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there.
2 The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.
3 When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did,
4 Joseph found favour in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned.
5 From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the LORD was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field.