Can I be honest?
I don’t love the title “missionary.” It’s a word that holds so much history and weight and prejudgement. I feel unqualified for it—like I don’t deserve it. Plus, everyone has their own idea of what a missionary is, and I’m not sure I meet their expectations.
I’ve found that people expect me to be an evangelist or a church planter. They want my sob stories—the ones packed full of emotion. With heroes of the faith running through their minds, they wonder how many people I’ve led to Jesus, how many people come to my church or small group. Numbers. They’re so important.
And what I’ve learned—or trust—is that these thoughts and questions and preconceived ideas come from hearts of gold. They come from a good place, but they don’t describe my job. They don’t reflect the calling God has given me—a so-called missionary.
We are Kingdom Builders
Technically, I am a missionary. It’s my title and job description. And I love my job. I cannot stress this enough. Nearly every day I wake up and experience the absolute joy of it. I am beyond grateful for the support that allows me to follow Jesus. I wouldn’t trade my life for the most stable, secure job in the world.
I still don’t feel like a missionary—at least not the one most have in their minds.
Because I don’t think you and I are that different. We—the Body of Christ—are similar. So very long ago, Jesus told us to “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and [the Father] will give [us] everything [we] need.” (Matthew 6: 33)
This is the Church’s charge. It’s the call of Jesus’ followers—not just those with the label missionary. The Father created us to be Kingdom seekers, Kingdom builders. Forget the title of missionary. Forget all you think of when you hear that word. Let go of it all.
I am a Kingdom builder, and so are you.
What Exactly is the Kingdom?
When I say the Kingdom, I mean this perfect and complex way of living and being Jesus came to establish. It’s both tangible and intangible, physical and invisible. The Kingdom of God is the family of God—billions of image bearers who trust Jesus and accept the life, love, and grace He gives. Every nation, tribe, and language united under our Father in worship.
When Jesus taught us to pray, He prayed for the Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. The Kingdom isn’t far away. We are part of it right now. We find the Kingdom in the goodness and love and nature of the Father among us—creation, the Church, Imago Dei in the billions of people on this planet.
Jesus looks at us—imperfect humans—and calls us kingdom builders. He asks us to build it where humans have resisted it, where it’s lacking, where brokenness and darkness have taken over. Building the kingdom of God isn’t about building our own stories of greatness. It’s about fighting for the heart of humanity to know and experience the Father. It’s an invitation to know Jesus, to know His abundant life and love.
So, yes, I am a missionary, but when I say that, I mean I am a Kingdom builder.
And I mean that you and I are the same. The Father designed us to join what began the moment He said, “Let there be light.” We are kingdom builders, created to open people’s eyes to the sacred all around us. Our world aches for the collision of the holy and the ordinary. Our souls long for the divine—for the Father Himself.
This is what we usher in as kingdom builders.
Kingdom Building Work
Sometimes this looks like planting a church, running a training center, loving your coworkers, leading a small group, making dinner for your neighbor. Sometimes it looks big and grand. It catches people’s attention, and they label it missions. But more often, building the Kingdom means staying faithful in the little things and showing an aching world who the Father is.
Our world is desperate for God’s Kingdom. It aches for heaven on earth. The created longs for the creator. The sustained begs for the sustainer.
And so the Father gives us that charge: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else. Build my Kingdom. Love Me and love your neighbor. Imitate me and help others see a glimpse of my face.”
Friend, we are kingdom builders. May we wear this title proudly, letting it touch every part of our lives and our world.