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Last night, I had the pleasure to hear North American Mission Board missionaries Dewey and Kathie Aiken speak about their ministry in Appalachia. *

As they told the story of their journey into full-time missions, I was intrigued.  As they spoke with great feeling about the desperate spiritual and physical needs of the people of Appalachia, I was touched and humbled.  And as they shared practical ways that we can help meet those needs, I was challenged.

I grew up attending a Southern Baptist church.  I learned about Annie Armstrong, Lottie Moon, and the history of the Women’s Missionary Union.  I have given to missions offerings, participated in missions studies, packed boxes and bags full of clothes and food to be donated, and taught children about missions and missionaries.  These are all good and worthy endeavors.

But I’ve never been intentional about seeking out opportunities to serve in missions, to make a difference for the Kingdom of God.  Last night I was challenged – prodded by the Spirit – to do just that.

I started to wonder… why have I never felt this way before about something to which I have been exposed my entire life?  God quickly showed me three reasons:

1. I’ve been complacent.  I’ve been satisfied to let other people bring the knowledge and opportunities to me.

2. I’ve been comfortable.  I’ve been satisfied to stay where I am, giving the same small amount of time, energy, and resources year after year.

3.  I’ve been confused.  I’ve been satisfied to remain ill-informed about missions opportunities.

In true Almighty God fashion, He also showed me three ways I can change:

1. Urgency.  Cultivate an attitude of urgency and seek out the knowledge I need.

2. Commitment.  Commit to a servant mindset and hold myself accountable.

3. Focus.  Seek God’s Will concerning the area of service He has prepared for me, and focus my energy on learning how to be effective in that area.

I’m excited about missions!  I can’t wait to see where God is going to use me first!  Oh, wait – He’s already using me.  I’ve been praying for missionaries and their projects.  And I’ve just written about missions…  Okay, Lord, what’s next?  I’m all ears!

*To find out more about Dewey and Kathie Aiken’s ministry in Appalachia, visit www.arministry.org.