Noun – a person, invested with the fill power of independent action on behalf of their government.
Adjective – having full power to take independent ACTION as a designated representative.
WHAT ARE THE ROLES OF A DIPLOMAT/AMBASSADOR/”PLENIPOTENTIARY”?
When United States DIPLOMATS negotiate a treaty, attend a state dinner, or arrange a visa for a traveler to the United States, they all have the same mission–REPRESENT THE INTERESTS and policies of the United States.
An AMBASSADOR is the President’s highest-ranking representative.
His/her qualities should be as follows:
— A strong leader.
— A good manager.
— A resilient negotiator.
— And, a respected representative of the United States.
Benjamin Franklin speaking to the qualities that should accompany a “plenipotentiary”– diplomat, said it this way:
“[The qualities of a diplomat are] sleepless tact, unmovable calmness,
and patience that no folly, no provocation,
no blunders make shake.”
HOW WE BECOME GOD’S REPRESENTATIVE–CHRIST’S AMBASSADORS TO THE WORLD:
Joel Santos says it this way–If God were like me, he would have used legions of angels, proclaiming, singing, shouting his message nonstop, simultaneously around the world. But praise God, He is NOT like me! [i footnoted].
In 2 Corinthians 5:11-20, the Apostle Paul, responding to criticisms about his ministry by giving reasons why Christians should be involved in MISSIONS.
GOD gave us ALL… the ministry of reconciliation…
This GOD-GIVEN COMMISSION is plain and clear–God’s mission of reconciling the world unto Him will be brought to completion through us, the redeemed!
Preparation For Being AMBASSADORS:
Before taking this honor as Plenipotentiaries, we need to make an honest attempt of knowing our responsibilities. Consider the Christian as an AMBASSADOR who has a special motive of serving–the love of Jesus.
JESUS expressed LOVE in many ways, and as His AMBASSADORS, we need to take note:
He loved the lost – (Mark 10:21).
He wept over the lost – (Matthew 23:37).
He loved the outcasts of society – (Illus.: Luke 19:1-10).
The lack of love angered Him – (Mark 3:5).
He proved His love on Calvary…He died for us, so we live for Him.
A Christian Ambassador Responsibilities and Duties in the World– [ii]
1. BE READY –
To be alert for chances to represent Christ while not backing away from a challenge or an opportunity.
2. BE PATIENT –
Not quarrelling with others, but will listen in order to understand, then with gentleness, seek to respectfully engage those who disagree.
3. BE REASONABLE –
Have informed convictions based on God’s Word/Scripture (not just feelings), give reasons, ask questions, aggressively seek answers, and will not be stumped by the same challenge twice.
4. BE TACTICAL –
Adapt to each unique person and situation, maneuvering with wisdom while challenging bad thinking… presenting the TRUTH in an understanding and compelling way.
A Personal Experience of Being “Tactical”:
I have been blessed to be a part of 4 Billy Graham Crusades over the years.
As a counselor, when the Crusade Choir starts singing “Just as I am, without one plea”, was my cue to start my journey towards the center field of the football stadium. To be qualified as “counselor”, we had to go through a week of training before Crusade began.
Mr Graham was positioned on a platform and after his message, those in attendance, started flowing down the long series of steps to the field. As counselors, we were to be sensitive to people’s needs, look forward to God-given opportunities, then to listen and share God’s Word with those who accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
After meeting and talking to several people one night, and as the crowds gathered on the stadium floor began to disperse, I also turned to leave. When out of the corner of my eye, I noticed 3 men heading towards me at a rapid pace. Two of the men, who were giants among men, were carrying a much smaller man by his armpits, his feet not touching the ground. As they approach, I didn’t know whether to stay frozen in place, or turn my back and quickly remove myself from their sight. I decided to stand my ground with trepidation.
One of the men spoke up and declared, “We our Marines, stationed at Camp Pendleton. We were here last night and got saved.”
Releasing the smaller man so that his feet could touch the ground, he continued saying, “This is a fellow-Marine. We brought him here tonight so he too can be saved!”
I thought to myself, “Mel, this is a unique situation with unique men. Lord, I need to quickly adapt to and apply Your wisdom…NOW!”
Immediately, I proceeded to explain that their “fellow-Marine” needed to make his own choices in accepting JESUS; their forceful and insistent encouragement might do more harm than good. Scaring someone to Christ might sound “convicting”, but no, God’s Word doesn’t tell us to do so as His Ambassadors.
I then began sharing the Gospel Message with the help of a B.G.C. (Billy Graham Crusade) tract, and the young Marine accepted Jesus as his personal Saviour.
5. BE CLEAR –
Being careful with our language and not relying on Christian “lingo”. [Ex.: manifestations, glorified, the rapture, justification, reconciliation, etc.]. Keep it simple.
6. BE FAIR –
Be sympathetic and understanding towards others, acknowledging the merits of contrary views.
7. BE HONEST –
Being careful with the facts that will not misrepresent another’s view, overstate his own case, or underestimate the demands of the Gospel.
8. BE HUMBLE –
Do not press a point beyond what the persons evidence allows. Know that their understanding of the TRUTH is fallible.
9. BE ATTRACTIVE –
Act with grace, kindness, good manners (“fruits of the Spirit”)–do nothing that will dishonor the One who has sent you on the mission.
10. BE DEPENDENT –
Know that your effectiveness requires joining your best efforts with God’s POWER.
AMBASSADORS ON A DIPLOMATIC MISSION:
As Christian Ambassadors, “Plenipotentiaries”, we are to shine forth God’s Light–proclaim the message of SALVATION whenever and wherever we may be. Sadly, Christians have lost the sense of our godly appointment in this world. We’ve got our “ticket to heaven” punched, and we are home free!
May it never be, that as Christ’s Ambassadors, we are ordinary citizens in the world. For if we feel that way, we will never fulfill the mission:
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, Your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7 AMP).
Footnotes: [i] Pastor/minister @Evangelical Christian Church – Network of Churches and Ministries in the Philippines. [ii] Adapted from Greg Kouki, “Ambassador’s Creed” and Roger Morris’ Characteristics of a Christian Ambassador.