The idea of fulfillment is overlooked and under-used. Deep down most people want to be fulfilled but popular opinion suggests that finding fulfillment is unattainable.
This is true in the Christian world too. Even missionaries have told me that they don’t see fulfillment on the horizon for themselves. That’s pretty sad. A world where we have no hope of reaching our potential to be the person God created us to be is a sad world indeed.
I think the idea of fulfillment is confused with the idea of happiness. Who promises us happiness in this world? But God promises us fulfillment.
Video: Having a little fun with FULFILLMENT
Three types of missionary fulfillment show that God is on the throne of his plan to redeem humanity, and to use his body to do it:
- the FULFILLMENT of a task
- the FULFILLMENT in a person, or in his people
- the FULFILLMENT by the church in her role in completing the Great Commission
Notice the prepositions ‘of’, ‘in’ and ‘by’ that are italicized.
The Fulfillment of A Task
From the world of logistics we understand the nature of an order being fulfilled or completed. In a missions context, myriads of tasks need to be accomplished by the missionary and for the missionary for his or her ministry to be completed. Imagine a church where no tasks are fulfilled. That church would neither grow nor thrive.
In What God Wants to Fulfill missionary David Markham states that missionaries often take on roles and responsibilities that no one else is willing to do. “Who will go?” asks God. Where would the peoples be without missionaries and church planters who take the gospel to the ends of the earth doing every type of job and task imaginable? The fulfillment of tasks is essential to the Great Commission being completed.
The Fulfillment in The Missionary
It’s a wonderful feeling to see God at work. Many missionaries make the mistake of forgetting that God is as concerned about them as he is the unreached. Why do so many Christians neglect their own souls?
When those in ministry choose to walk with God, he will make their ministries fulfilling. He will use us if we stay connected with him. We must keep in mind, however, that the absolute goal for our lives isn’t to be great missionaries. God’s goal is to conform us to the image of the son (Romans 8:29). Every Christian will be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. THAT is ultimate fulfillment.
Missionary Satisfaction: My Desires or God’s Glory?
The Fulfillment by The Church
The Lord God of hosts has chosen the church to be the avenue of human redemption. He sometimes chooses to go around the church, to rebuke the church, and to restart the church but almost everything he does is connected to the church. The Great Commission is given to the church and it will be fulfilled in Christ by the Church because God’s nature and heart are revealed in community.
If your church sends out missionaries, then the ministry that missionary does is ministry by the church. Don’t make the mistake of relegating the responsibility and the credit to the field workers. The church is sending, supporting, enabling, caring, and keeping the workers accountable.
The Big Picture of the Great Commission
So the Great Commission will be fulfilled by the church, who is sending out missionaries for the fulfillment of Great Commission tasks, and all the while God is creating fulfillment in his people who are going and sending. Sounds like a WIN/WIN/WIN to me. That’s missional.
Considering God’s plans for his people and the actions he has demonstrated, I’m not ready to give up on fulfillment. Are you?