When my husband, Seth, and I moved to Indianapolis in January 2021, we left the only city I had ever lived in and a life of comfort surrounded by friends, family, and familiar places. As Seth started a new job, he began interacting with a fellow believing coworker who invited Seth and me to take a class called Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, commonly referred to as Perspectives.
My initial reaction was “A missions class? Absolutely not. We are not about to take a class that will convince us to move across the world to be missionaries. We are already far enough away from our friends and families!”
However, over the next few months, Seth’s coworker kept bringing up the class during their conversations. One evening, Seth came home and shared that he felt strongly that the Holy Spirit was leading him to participate in this class—and that he would like me to join him. I begrudgingly agreed. And in the months leading up to the class, I secretly felt terrified. What if it changed everything about our lives? What if God wanted us to move somewhere I was scared to go? What if I wasn’t brave enough to answer and to go where God led?
The first time I felt the discomfort of change was when we read an article by missionary Hudson Taylor. The article described a season when he had returned home from the mission field for a brief time. One morning while his home church sang joyfully about the gift of their salvation, he had to leave in the middle of the service because he was overcome with grief and sadness for the lost people around the world.
The Sunday after I read this article, we sang “Death Was Arrested” during service, and the lyrics grieved me in a new way. “We’re free, free, forever we’re free! Come join the song of all the redeemed” made me pause. How could I come to church to worship while there are still millions who don’t know Christ? How will they hear? How will they know if no one is ever bold enough to uproot their life to share with them? These questions swirled in my mind, making me realize I could not continue living in comfort while hoping someone else would complete the task.
Another significant moment of change took place when our instructor said, “Mormons give two years; Christians give excuses.” I’ll never forget that statement. You see, when Mormons turn nineteen, they are expected to spend two years serving as missionaries around the world. I was struck by the bluntness of the instructor’s words and how deeply they resonated with my own story. Up to that point, I had been willing to give any excuse that might protect the comfortable life I had built for myself.
“It’s not a question of whether we want to participate or not; it’s a question of where we are going to participate.”
God used the class to change my perspective. What if the Great Commission is more than just a calling for missionaries to go overseas to share the gospel? God is making his name great among every tribe, tongue, and nation. It’s not a question of whether we want to participate or not; it’s a question of where we are going to participate. You don’t have to pack up your family and move across the globe to fulfill God’s call on your life.
There are ways to welcome those from other countries, send those who are going, and mobilize those preparing to go. We all have a part to play in the Great Commission. My prayer is that we will faithfully respond to what God has called each of us to do to bring glory to his name.
Perspectives on the World Christian Movement class begins on January 17 at College Park Church. More information about the class and registration can be found here.