Yesterday my 7 year old daughter, talking about what she wants to be when she grows up, says,
“I want to be one of those stationary people.”
She goes on, “One of those people who travel around the world.”
I’m trying to sort out in my head what she means. She can’t mean someone who works at Staples, or Officeworks. Technically a stationary person would not travel at all. They wouldn’t move anywhere.
“Do you mean an air hostess?”, I asked.
She shook her head. “No. One of those people who travels to countries and tells people about Jesus.”
“Oh,” I said, “A missionary person!”
Having cleared that up, my brain quickly linked to the world we live in now, and so I pointed out how missions can work these days.
“Well these days you can be reaching people around the world through radio, TV, social media – like that. You can be a media missionary, like daddy.”
To my dismay, she, and my other 2 children just laughed at that point.
“No daddy,” she said, “You just go to the radio station and sit there all day. I want to hop on a plane and fly!”
Hmmm… Maybe I’m the stationary missionary.
When you are an evangelical Christian, and you work in media (even Christian media), as I currently do, it is frustratingly hard to convince others that you are in fact in ministry. I write about this in my new book, Powerful Christian Radio: The strategy, impact & ministry of local Christian radio.
When people say “ministry” they mean “church pastor”. When they say “missionary” they still mean someone who travels overseas to live with poor uneducated folk.
And when you can’t even convince your own daughter about what it is that you really do – how on earth are you going to convince anyone else?
Or maybe it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Maybe it only matters that you are being obedient to God, working in the field where He has told you to be.
I wonder if you have had similar frustrations with what you do?