In February, we discussed a short clip from Teen Mania’s chapel service where interns were told that every single one of them is called to foreign missions.
It wasn’t until recently that I took the time to listen to this entire message by Teen Mania’s head of Global Expeditions, Emmie Harper.
While it is certainly troubling to have a Christian leader tell you that you are called to missions and if you think you aren’t, then you’ve probably heard God wrong, Emmie Harper, takes it even further. Read on.
About 45 minutes into her sermon, Emmie asks everyone who knows they are called to missions to stand up. After they get a nice round of applause, she has those not called to missions stand up while the missionaries sit down. Then she tells them:
I don’t mean to make anyone upset or mad but I just really feel passionate about this. I don’t think that you are called to stay.
I don’t believe it.
I don’t believe it. There are not enough people going. There’s not enough people going.
Some of you are hiding behind the fact that you are going to do ministry. Some of you are in ministry right now, you are staff members. You are hiding behind the fact that “I’m in ministry.”
Listen there are not enough people going, I don’t believe you are called to stay. There’s just not enough people. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t add up. We cannot hide behind whats comfortable….there is nowhere else you ought to rather be than the center of God’s will for your life. I believe you are called to go and to give it all.
Missions is not just for some, its for all of us. We are all called to foreign missions and many of you who are standing are called to go.
If that wasn’t intense enough for you, Emmie raises the stakes by telling the interns that certain Biblical promises are only for full time missionaries.
@51:30 – Matthew 6:33 – That promise is not for everyone. It doesn’t just automatically happen because you give your life to Jesus.
It is for those who seek first his kingdom, who make missions their priority. If its not your priority, that Scripture that promise of provision, it does not apply to you. Throw it out because you have decided to provide for yourself.
When you take missions and remove it from your mind, you are literally saying, “God I will provide for myself, I will do life my way.”
And just when you thought the stakes could not be raised any higher, Emmie pronounces a sort of benediction on the interns:
@1:04:40 – I hope that you will all give your life for what matters most.
I hope that your blood will run on the sands of the Middle East.
I hope that as a result of what you give and what you do that the name of Jesus will be made famous to people who right now, do not know him.
I hope that you will demonstrate courage and faith.
I hope that you will die a death that will point thousands to Christ.
Unfortunately, this is nothing new. For the first 2 years that I was out of Teen Mania, I was convinced that I was going to be a martyr in the Middle East. I felt that was the highest calling of a Christian and was better and higher than any other Christian act I could do.
I was still caught up in legalism.
Not everyone is called to missions or martyrdom. And that’s ok.
And preaching guilt and condemnation to those who don’t want to die on the sands of the Middle East is called spiritual abuse, no matter how well intentioned it is. (Not to mention that a call to action like this is just freaky.)