When I say I’m a missionary, the general response I receive is, “Wow, that’s so cool!” They then ask me what church I’m connected to, expecting that a church “sent” me into the mission field. That’s when the conversation starts to get a little bit awkward.

Do I go to church? Yes. Am I connected to this church? Yes. But most people at my church have no idea as to what I’m doing, because I’m not considered an “overseas missionary.” I’m just intentionally loving and serving people here every single day. I’m what you might call an everyday missionary.

You expect a missionary to exhibit a certain set of behaviors and attitudes. You expect them to love Jesus, to be desperate for Him, to walk with humility and kindness, to share what little they have, to bring Hope to the hopeless, to bring Joy where there is none. Walking half a mile in the rain with an impoverished friend to go pick up his shoes from the shoe store seems normal. Giving hugs to strangers who need to know they are loved seems ordinary normal… if you’re an overseas missionary.

Even though I’m not an overseas missionary, I’m still a missionary.

Right here. Right now.

I am an everyday missionary.

My life looks similar to the lives of many Americans. I go to college and hang out with friends. I go to church and to the grocery store. I watch movies with my roommates and eat PB& J for dinner pasta for dinner because those are the only two meals I know how to make. But at the same time, I spend 15-20 hours per week out in the homeless communities, learning to love Jesus more and be desperate for Him, learning to walk with humility and kindness, bringing Hope to the hopeless, and sharing Joy where there is none, walking beside people in their brokenness. At gas stations, I help the lost man figure out where he is going. At Walmart, I talk to the people in line behind me. I hold doors for people. I invest time in as many people as I can.

When I tell people that I work in the homeless communities, people tell me how cool that is. They are impressed when I share about my life. But truth be told, it’s not as glamorous as it seems. It’s loving Jesus and loving others, just as we all were called to do.

We are His People, and we are all called to be everyday missionaries.