In order to emphasize the missionary nature of the local church, a new expression has emerged in recent years: “Every Christian a missionary.” Is this valid? Should local churches be instructing and claiming that their church members are all missionaries? Although many mission leaders and writers claim that the Bible never uses the word missionary, an examination of fifty-two different English versions of the Bible shows otherwise. In order to respond to the main question, a number of avenues are explored in this paper—the identity, definitions, and origin of the term missionary, including old and new paradigms and their analyses. In light of the research, a third or new paradigm is proposed, that of commissionary. Lastly, the answer to the question in the title, “Should the local church be teaching that every Christian is a missionary?” will be offered.
Stalnaker, C. (2017). Rethinking the Term Missionary: Is Every Christian a Missionary?. Great Commission Research Journal, 8(2), 159-176. Retrieved from https://place.asburyseminary.edu/gcrj/vol8/iss2/4