What is “Missions Work”?

Updated: Aug 25

One of the most clear Bible verses that talks about this thing we call “missions work” or “missions” is Acts 1:8 when Jesus says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” This was a response to the disciples who, after Jesus’ resurrection and appearance to them, were asking if he was going to set up his kingdom now. His response was not the answer they expected – he didn’t answer their question, but told them they would be his witnesses.

I think many times we take this verse to say that world or international missions are the most important thing. International missions work is important for sure. But we may put too much weight on the idea that the only “missions work” that counts is that done by missionaries who go outside their home country and witness in foreign lands. Don’t get me wrong - sending people, or going ourselves, is definitely important. But I don’t think that’s all Jesus meant when he said the disciples, and by extension all believers, are to be his witnesses.

When we look at the verse in its entirety, we see that all