My son attends a pre-youth group youth group meeting at our church. Two evenings a month, he gets together with other kids his age and they play a game, do a service project, and get a Bible lesson. They call it Adventure Club.
It’s an informal thing; the older youth group students help facilitate, and for one hour twice a month my son gets to do something loose and fun that he normally wouldn’t do. The bonus for him is that he gets to spend those evening hours away from the prying eyes of parents and siblings; the bonus for us is that he gets a little Christian education and time hanging out at church, which is also a bonus for him.
He loves it, and each month he tries to bring one or more of his friends from school to go along. When Adventure Club day rolls around, I remind him: Don’t forget you have Adventure Club tonight. Tell your friends.
He comes home from school and tells me that so and so is going, but so and so can’t. I confirm with parents and arrange to pick up; after all, this is our church and he’s doing the inviting.
Most weeks, I take the same group of kids that have always gone with my son to Adventure Club. The cast of characters that sing along to our car radio and make middle school jokes that make me laugh every time changes very little.
But then once in a while, a new character is added. The last time I chauffeured to Adventure Cub, we had someone new, a friend from school that I knew a little, but didn’t really know. I called his mom that evening to introduce myself and explain that we take some kids from school twice a month to church and they had been talking about it at school and my son invited her son to go along, and would he like to come?
He would, she said. We chatted for a few minutes and she gave me her address. Then she remarked, he’s quite the little missionary, your son.
I laughed and replied, I guess so.
Missionary. The term brings to mind a noble person who gives his or her life to serve others. Mother Teresa was a missionary. So are all the people in Europe and Africa and Asia who live among native peoples, and some who live right here in the US but away from family and friends, to spread the word of God.
As I was sharing this story with a friend, she said but isn’t that what we are all called to be? As Christians, aren’t we all sort of supposed to bring others to Christ every way we can?
It’s exactly what we are supposed to do. My son gets it, and I don’t even think he knows it. All he wants is to hang out and have fun twice a month with his buddies. The Bible lesson is extra, but it gets in there somehow. His act of inviting friends to church shows it.
He’s a missionary. All of us are, if we are living the life that God intends for us to live.
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 (NLT)