Could it be that when people talk about a call to missionary service, they are actually asking the wrong question?
Jesus Christ calls all his disciples to “ministry,” that is, to service. He himself is the Servant par excellence, and he calls us to be servants too. This much then is certain: if we are Christians, we must spend our lives in the service of God and others. The only difference between us lies in the nature of the service we are called to render. Some are indeed called to be missionaries, evangelists or pastors, and others to the great professions of law, education, medicine and the social sciences. But others are called to commerce, to industry and farming, to accountancy and banking, to local government or parliament, and to the mass media, to homemaking and family building. In all these spheres, and many others besides, it is possible for Christians to interpret their life’s work Christianly, and to see it neither as a necessary evil (necessary, that is, for survival), nor even as a useful place in which to evangelize or make money for evangelism, but as their Christian vocation, as the way Christ has called them to spend their lives in his service. Further, a part of their calling will be to seek to maintain Christ’s standards of justice, righteousness, honesty, human dignity and compassion in a society that no longer accepts them.