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82: When Everything Is Missions (with Matthew Ellison)

How do we define the term “missionary”? How can churches send missionaries well? President of Sixteen:Fifteen, Matthew Ellison, helps us wrestle with and navigate these questions from a Biblical perspective.

  • Sixteen:Fifteen
  • Mark 16:15
  • “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” -Mark Twain
  • When Everything Is Missions
  • “It is a well-intentioned idea to call everyone a missionary; I think it has unintended consequences.”
  • “If we are sloppy in our definitional work of what missions is and who’s a missionary, I think invariably, it is those outside the reach of the Gospel that get disenfranchised.”
  • “When everyone’s a missionary, no one’s a missionary.”
  • “Biblically, missionary’s not a rank, it’s a role. They’re not super spiritual people, they’re not super apostles, they’re broken people like everyone else but they have a specific calling to take the Gospel cross-culturally.”
  • “In the New Testament, this is someone who is sent out to cross cultures with the Gospel.”
  • “God’s ‘all peoples’ mission is an all-hands-on-deck effort.”
  • Acts 13
  • “Not everyone is called to go, but everyone has a role to play.”
  • “Missionaries are those who do Kingdom work in a cross-cultural context in support of the Great Commission’s fulfillment, which is making disciples of all nations.”
  • “We should be discipling people into a global worldview. We have divorced missions and the mission of God to make disciples of all nations from our identity as followers of Jesus.”
  • “The living God is a missionary God, and if we’re going to be like Him, we’re going to care about the things He cares about, and He cares about His mission [...] Every child of God should be a part of the story of God’s redemption.”
  • Philippians 1:19
  • Philippians 4:17
  • 3 John 1:6
  • “Send your missionaries in a manner worthy of God’s Name.”
  • Philippians 1:5
  • Perspectives on the World Christian Movement
  • “The calling and appointment of the Spirit will be confirmed in the context of a local body of believers.”
  • “It was a broken heart that got him to the mission field, but it was a love for Jesus that kept him on the mission field.”
  • “I think the only thing that can keep us persevering in the mission of God is a love for Jesus.”
  • “Where zeal for worship is weak, zeal for mission will be weak also.” -John Piper
  • “If we want to see that missions flame burn in our lives until Jesus takes us home, we’ve gotta stay close to Jesus.”

To learn more about reaching the least-reached, listen to episode 74 with Steve Johnson. If your church is interested in learning more about TeachBeyond, contact

What’s changing our lives:

  • Keane: Hummingbird feeders
  • Heather: Timeshifter App
  • Matthew: Recent change to plant-based diet

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04 Nov 22
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