By Anne Harman
A world-renowned illusionist; a working-mom and neighborhood missionary; a former NFL kicker; and an entrepreneur-turned-executive sat down with Ed Stetzer during the 2015 Send North America Conference to talk about their personal experiences taking missions into everyday life.
Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research, interviewed Harris III, Danae Herndon, Todd Peterson and Sebastian Traeger—“everyday missionaries” living out the gospel in the places where they live, work and play.
While the settings of their assignments from God varied, their mission has been marked by one similarity: the intentionality of these people, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, faithfully joining God in His mission. Each offered examples of how God uses intentional efforts to grow His kingdom through “ordinary” people.
Harris III, an illusionist who has taken magic-with-a-message to more than 20 countries on five continents: “How I feel led to love people is by telling my story. I realized this is what God is calling me to do. If we’re just willing to take that next step and embrace that mystery, we don’t know all the details, we don’t have the whole plan, we don’t have the blueprint of what God’s calling us to do. Just take the next step, and trust God that He’s going to reveal each part of your future along the way.”
Danae Herndon, who ministers against physical poverty at Compassion International and against relational poverty in her Colorado Springs neighborhood: “(My husband and I) decided we don’t want to wait to be on mission for someone to fund us. We promised God that we would be on mission today. So we started praying, ‘God, whose life can we breathe into? Who can we be in relationship with? Who can we impact?’ And it always went back to our local community.”
Todd Peterson, retired NFL football player and owner of Cabell’s Designs, focused on collegiately licensed products: “What is it that I can do as a businessman that really distinguishes me from the guy around the corner or down the street or at the factory across town? It’s do things with excellence, do everything I do with all my heart, as if I’m (working for) God. … It’s do things with kindness and give grace to people and show forbearance and be patient.”
Sebastian Traeger, author of The Gospel at Work and executive vice president of the International Mission Board: “We have to see the real point and purpose of our work is actually not the ‘what’ we do, but the Who we do it for. … People get freed from thinking that if they’re in a ‘secular’ workplace that some how that’s secondary and if they’re at a missions agency, that’s somehow much better, or if I’m a pastor, that’s even better. … An absolute purpose in our work is to be salt and light in the workplace. If you’re a Christian, you’re God’s ambassador at all times.”
Whatever role God leads a person to fill in his or her work, and whatever season of life a person’s in, “God wants you to spend your life for His glory,” Peterson said.
Anne Harman is a writer and editor for the International Mission Board.
Published August 17, 2015