According to Kamran Karimi, missions doesn't require going overseas or giving up a career. In fact, staying at home and remaining within that lucrative job may actually serve as a platform to share the gospel. But the key is, he said, being led by the Holy Spirit.
"It just takes the remnant to influence the culture," Karimi said in starting off his lecture during a workshop session on Saturday at the recent Global Medical Missions Alliance (GMMA) Conference in Irvine, CA. Karimi heads The Voice of Freedom, an organization that airs Christian TV programs through satellite into Iran.
There are seven areas of society, according to Karimi, and "those who sit on top influence and mold the culture." Those seven areas include the church, family, media, government, entertainment, education, and the economy.
"God wants the church, his family, to infiltrate every one of these domains," Karimi explained, "and he fully intends for us to sit on top of them and influence what happens in them."
"These arenas can be seen as vehicles to bring the kingdom of God to earth," he added.
Karimi referred to an example from the Bible in the book of Acts chapter 17, in which the Apostle Paul catches the attention of philosophers in the marketplace. Paul was brought to a meeting in the Areopagus, at which place he shares about God.
"Paul was not offended by the fact that the philosophers called him a 'babbler,' nor did he shy away from sharing the gospel," Karimi said. "The key is having God's mindset, and being led by the Holy Spirit. Paul knew how to engage the Holy Spirit."
In order for the "remnant" to be an influence for God in the various arenas, Karimi emphasized, each Christian must be led by the Holy Spirit.
"God is continually leading you -- the key is, are you listening? Would you let him take you out of your comfort zone? If the Holy Spirit is not leading you, you're not doing Christianity right," Karimi said.
"If we do not make room for the Holy Spirit, we cannot have the kingdom impact that we could potentially have, because we're trying to do God's work with our own strength."
Karimi said there are three simple steps to follow to develop an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit. First, one must listen for God.
"If you're open to hearing him, he will definitely talk to you," he said.
Second, one must listen to God. And lastly, one must act on what he says.
"What arena is God calling you into, and are you willing to be uncomfortable in that place?" Karimi posed. "The bottom line is, the way we can bring the kingdom of God to all of these arenas comes down to the Holy Spirit. When you are operating out of the mind of Christ, when you are completely committed and open to God's leading, you have a greater power than the culture because you're operating out of a higher authority."
Karimi's workshop was one of over 50 different workshops at the GMMA Conference, which aimed to mobilize Korean American students and young adults to live missionally. The conference, which took place from June 24 to 25, gathered some 900 people and featured speakers such as Michael Oh, the executive director of the Lausanne Movement, and Dave Gibbons, pastor of Newsong Church, among others.