The Lasting Impact of Missions

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Will my life leave a lasting impact?

It’s not a question I imagine women like Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong asked themselves as they set out to do the work God had called them to do. And yet, their lives and ministry work have continued through the generations, still making an impact today.

They simply said yes to their God-given assignments and trusted God to do the rest. Their impact on missions inspires me to think of my life and ministry in a completely different way. I often ask myself, am I influencing the people around me in a way that is drawing them closer to Jesus? Am I living my life in a way that shows my children, my family and friends, and the people I come across each day that I am devoted to God and the places He will call me to serve? I want my life to leave an impact.

I think a lot of us desire this, and as believers, it’s especially critical to the generations that will come behind us to live our lives in a way that shows people our devotion to Christ. If we don’t ever tell the stories of how God has changed our lives, or how He has changed the lives of others, how will people know He can change theirs?

We have a responsibility to tell others about Jesus and to instill in the next generation a love for Him and serving others. Think about the influence you have on the people around you like your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, friends, and other family members. You have a sphere of influence.

“My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old— things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.”

Psalms 78: 1-4 

Psalm 78 is a psalm full of wisdom, written to instruct God’s people. We see the theme of God’s goodness and kindness to His stubborn and often rebellious people.

We see that each generation has a responsibility to teach the next generation about the works and Word of God. Continue reading this passage of scripture and you will read about two consecutive generations who were unfaithful. The people not only failed to remember God’s power and work for themselves, but they failed to adequately teach the next generation about Him.

So how do we inspire the next generation of believers to be invested in missions and see themselves as people God wants to use in mighty ways? We tell the stories of God’s wonderous deeds and awe-inspiring works over and over again. We honor the lives and impact of the people who have gone before us and done amazing things for the Kingdom of God. We also look to the future and the ways God is working right now in our churches, communities, and the world around us and how He calls us to join Him in that work.

Missions is an action step that creates change.

Women like Annie Armstrong, Lottie Moon, Ann Judson, and Hephzibah Jenkins Townsend inspire me, because they were women who were bold in their faith. They were willing to go places others wouldn’t go for the sake of the gospel. They were women who took everyday moments and used them as opportunities to tell others about Jesus, and their lives left a lasting impact.

You have the same opportunity to look for ways God is working in everyday moments in your life, and you have the open invitation to be on mission with God every day. You don’t have to wait around for a big way to serve God. You can be on mission with Him anywhere. Whether it’s around your kitchen table with your family, in line at the store checkout, or serving within your church or community, you are on mission.

It takes a shift in our thinking to realize a mission field exists right where you are and that there are opportunities all around you to serve God. I challenge you to look for the ways God is calling you to be on mission with Him and relentlessly love the people around you by sharing the good news of Jesus with them.

Lottie Moon baked cookies to share the gospel with others. Annie Armstrong wrote letters. These were not big, monumental things at the time, but these women made an impact for missions that has lasted far beyond anything they could have imagined. Their obedience to God is still producing fruit.

Missions was not a one-time project for them. It was an ongoing relationship with the people and community around them.

Missions is an action step that creates change. It changes our relationship with God, and it changes the way we serve people and love people. It can also change the way we see the world. Most importantly, missions changes the way the world sees Jesus.

We live in a world where people are hurting, where they are grieving, where they are hungry, hopeless, and even lost. We can help change that by pointing them to Jesus and showing them they are not alone. Missions gives us a way to do that: to share the love of Jesus, hope, real, tangible resources that can change lives.

God has given you gifts, talents, and passions to bring Him glory and to serve others. You don’t need to wait around for big, God-sized moments to happen. Look for your mission field in those small, sometimes mundane moments that lead to an eternal impact. Don’t miss those moments and unique ways to serve God and love others. Those missional moments could be the ones that cause a lasting impact. They are everywhere, and every one of them matters.

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Amanda Martinsen

Amanda Martinsen serves as the Leadership Development Consultant for WMU North Carolina. Amanda is a writer, speaker, certified biblical life coach, and co-host of the Beyond the Moment podcast. She is a former social worker turned ministry consultant with a love for missions and equipping leaders for Kingdom service. She and her husband Brian have three daughters and live in Sanford, NC.

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