“Okay, kids, what’s wrong with this Mr. Potato Head?” I asked the after-school Good News Club as I held up the toy.
Giggling, the kids pointed to the nose part where his arm part should have been, and his arm was where his mouth should have been. As I put the body parts into their proper places, I explained to the kids how God made each of us with individual gifts and abilities and how we are all needed in the body of Christ.
Growing up, I’d had limited exposure to missionaries. The only stories I had heard were of preachers, teachers, or medical workers, but I had no interest in those things as my career. So, when I was called to missions after high school, I wondered how God was going to use me on the mission field.
I started at Asbury University (Kentucky), majoring in missions and Spanish. Then, someone gave me some great advice about how it’s really helpful when missionaries have a practical skill to offer. I looked into education, but God quickly closed that door. I’d always liked math and numbers, so after some thought and prayer, I declared accounting as my major. Just three weeks later, a speaker came to campus and talked about the need for accountants and businessmen on the mission field. They support the ministries and other missionaries and enable the field to function well. This was confirmation to me that my calling to missions and my gifts in organization, logic, and math were not mutually exclusive. We are one body, and we all have to work together as our various parts.
Back at the Good News Club, Mr. Potato Head helped the kids understand this. We talked about that no matter what your gift is, God can use it on the mission field. We can’t all be mouths or feet or hands or ears; that’s not a good representation of the body of Christ. If God gives us skills in a particular area, it often doesn’t work right when we try to use them someplace else. And when we try to fit into a role that we’re not supposed to fill, it’s exhausting.
When called to missions, I felt like I was supposed to be an arm and help in practical ways; yet, I thought I had to be the mouth (preacher). But how can an arm work in the place where the mouth is supposed to be?
If we live out a biblical worldview, we see how everything can be used by God to draw people to Him. It matters how we plant crops, treat diseases, administer funds, organize ministry, steward our money, and, yes, preach the Word. I’m just a few months in to my first term in Honduras, serving in accounting, and I can’t wait to see how God will work in the months and years ahead.
GO: Treasurers and accountants are a vital part of the mission field team. Opportunities to serve in this capacity are available in multiple locations. To find out more, contact Jared Gleason at firstname.lastname@example.org or 765.671.7226.