"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but on who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." (Heb 4:15)
When Jesus lived on the earth, he showed us not only what perfection looks like, but proved that it is attainable. Ultimately, he fulfilled the role of high priest—someone who stands in the breach, to bridge the gap between us and God. He exemplified the best in humanity to God, while acting as God to humanity at the same time. He didn’t only take up his cross once, but lived, walked, breathed among us, to show us how to take up our cross daily.
As believers, we are called to be priests as well. It is the commitment to live among the world and show them the nature of God. When we choose to “make disciples of all nations,” often it doesn’t look as dramatic or glamorous as we’d like. But the power of ministry comes from being an example of the life of Christ in every moment. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
Rachael N is a sector missionary in Sioma, Zambia, which means she has committed to living long-term in an area. “We just want to show [our disciples] that there is a better way,” she says. “Everyone needs examples in life to be the best that you can be, and by being a sector leader, you show people that it’s not just a statement that you make, or a prayer at the end of a sermon, but it’s a lifestyle and a choice you make every day, that you have to pick up your cross and die to your flesh daily.
“So expeditions come in and find people, and we have this big move of God—but then the sector missionaries follow through and train those people to go and lead their own expeditions and let God move through them.”
In Numbers 16, the Israelites rebelled against Moses and God, choosing to return to the security of Egypt rather than continue into the Promised Land by faith. Their disobedience brought widespread sin and death into the camp, and a plague began to wipe the people out until Aaron, the high priest, took a stand in the midst of the crowd. Aaron “stood between the living and the dead, and the plague was stopped” (Num 16:48). One person has the power to hold back darkness for an entire nation. And as sectors grow, more and more indigenous people hear that call to be priests, to bring light and life to their nations.
Caitlin R shares the story of her friend and disciple Samuel (pronounced Sam-well) as an example of the power of indigenous believers: “We did not lead him to the Lord – he already loved the Lord. He just needed someone to do life with him and believe in him and he took off like a rocket. There is a rumor in his village: ‘If you go to Samuel’s house, you will be healed’ because it has happened so many times. He has been asked to begin a church in his village and is already seeing incredible things come out of it – groups of people baptized in the Holy Spirit, demons cast out, charms burned. He also walks weekly to another village to minister there, in addition to ministering with us throughout the week. I could go on and on about him!”
“The real purpose of sector is to preach ourselves out of a job,” says Rachael. “At the end of the day, if the people need you to experience the presence of God and all that He is, then you’ve just been a placeholder in their lives. God didn’t call us to become placeholders! Our heart behind it is to see the people we’re discipling be even better than we are.”