Missions is crucial to the success of any church. They provide a link between the church and the world and help spread the gospel message. Every pastor should be concerned about missions and take steps to support and encourage church participation in missionary work. Here are 10 reasons why:
THE GOD OF THE BIBLE IS A MISSIONARY GOD
When most people think of missionaries, they imagine people who leave their home country to preach the gospel in foreign lands. However, the Bible teaches that God is a missionary. This means that God is always on a mission to redeem and restore his creation. He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die for our sins and make it possible for us to have a relationship with him. Jesus said, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
Psalm 67:1-7 (NLT2) 1 May God be merciful and bless us. May his face smile with favor on us. 2 May your ways be known throughout the earth, your saving power among people everywhere. 3 May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you. 4 Let the whole world sing for joy, because you govern the nations with justice and guide the people of the whole world. 5 May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you. 6 Then the earth will yield its harvests, and God, our God, will richly bless us. 7 Yes, God will bless us, and people all over the world will fear him.
When you read the Bible from the front cover to the back, you can't help but notice the missionary nature of God. He has always been sending, rescuing, redeeming, and restoring people throughout his Word. He has always intended the whole earth to give him glory and the nations to praise him!
The Bible is the best-selling book and has been translated into more languages than any other book. It is a missionary book that has been used to bring people to Christ for centuries around the world. It is a source of comfort and hope for a lost and dying world.
It is through God-breathed words that one is exposed to the mission of God. Reading and studying the Bible helps us understand who God is and what he desires for the world. In the Bible, theology and missions are inseparable. They serve to shape the biblical narrative itself and the lives of believers. Theology provides a framework for understanding God's purposes in the world, while missions is how believers put that theology into action. The Bible shows that theology and missions are two sides of the same coin in both cases. As we learn more about his missional plan in the Word, we can more effectively change the world through his Son, Jesus.
THE GOAL OF MISSIONS IS THE GLORY OF GOD AMONG ALL PEOPLE
Sadly, the true meaning of missions has been convoluted or lost due to its Westernization. Culture has pushed it more into programs, goal orientated, number of conversions, strategically planted churches, geographical locations, people groups, etc. As a result, it's more of a sterile operation and less of God and who he is. I'm not saying any of these things are unnecessary, but the essential piece, which has been ignored many times, is the glorification of God among all people.
Habakkuk 2:14 For as the waters fill the sea, the earth will be filled with an awareness of the glory of the Lord.
The caution here is that we need to make it less human result-driven and more focused on him and his glory. As Habakkuk says, make the earth be aware of his glory! God is zealous and is extending his glory around the globe!
The Great Commission is an imperative given by Jesus Christ to His disciples to make disciples of all nations. The mandate is for Christians to share the gospel message throughout the world. This commission has been a driving force for missionaries and evangelists for centuries, and the need for global missions has never been greater. There are still billions of people who have never heard the gospel, and Christ commands His followers to bring the good news to them. Despite significant challenges, global missions is vital in fulfilling the Great Commission and bringing glory to God.
JESUS COMMANDED US TO GO TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH
Acts 1:8 (NLT2) 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere-in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
This is not a suggestion but a mandate from Christ to do so. I don't think this can be ignored. It's something we all need to be asking God where we are in this plan. Pastors need to be seeking the face of the Lord to ensure they are following the specific vision and plan for their house. Fulfilling these instructions can look different from church to church. There is not a one size fits all approach. The key is to do your plan from God.
John 3:16 (NLT2) 16 "For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
Global mission work should be motivated by a desire to share the love of God with others. By sending his Son, Jesus Christ, God acted out in love for his creation. Likewise, God's purpose for redemption and reconciliation is driven by his love for those on the earth. Our motivation can't be from within us, but from God when doing missions. Our love and affection will fail, but God's will never.
Philippians 2:13 says, "God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him." He will perform that work within us if we sincerely pray for his grace, desire, and power to do global missions. Also, as we step out in faith, he will continually supply.
THE VISION FOR GLOBAL MISSIONS STARTS IN THE CHURCH
The vision for global missions starts within the local church among the believers in Christ. As we can see in the epistles, Apostle Paul desired to establish new churches throughout the areas he reached continually.
The Body of Christ needs to desire to ensure there are churches among all the people of the world in every place. There are many things churches focus on, such as feeding the hungry, establishing learning schools for trades, etc. BUT, without a local body within the nations, teaching, training, and raising up disciples that glorify God, all other efforts are futile.
Within the New Testament, we can see that the focus was on establishing local churches where Jesus Christ is known and worshiped. Churches have been ordained by God, established by Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit to be a beacon on the hill shining the light of Jesus unto all men!
Matthew 9:37-38 (NLT2) 37 He said to his disciples, "The harvest is great, but the workers are few. 38 So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields."
Christianity is not for spectators. Too often, Christians sit back and expect others to do the work of evangelism and global missions. Jesus recognized the problem while upon the earth, and it still exists today. There is much work but not enough laborers. We must get off our couches and become intentional with a plan from the Holy Spirit on how our churches will make an impact across the globe!
Romans 10:13-15 (NLT2) 13 For "Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved." 14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, "How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!"
Churches must stop laying the responsibility upon other churches. Many are diligent in the things of God in regard to the utter ends of the earth. BUT sadly, many are not. The world will not be evangelized without hearing the message of Jesus Christ; someone needs to tell them, and someone needs to be sent. We can pray for the workers to be sent, but it's hypocritical to pray if the one praying is unwilling to do the job.
CHURCH MEMBERS DOING GLOBAL MISSIONS BREATHE LIFE WITHIN THE CHURCH
The church is not just a building on a street corner; it is people from worldwide coming together to share the gospel. When people go on mission trips, they come back with a new understanding of their faith and the world. They also come back with new relationships with other believers worldwide.
Time after time, pastors have testified to me that global missions have changed their church for the better. Not only did the members' lives change while on the field, but they became better servants at the local church. They found a whole new appreciation for what God is doing, and they wanted to be a part of it more so. At the same time, that new fresh excitement attracted others looking for something more than just themselves.
James 4:17 (NLT2) 17 Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.
There are close to 8 billion people in the world. Yet, according to missiologists, approximately 3 billion people have little to no access to the gospel. Therefore, there are billions of people upon this earth living their entire lives and dying without the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This reality cannot be tolerable for any pastor with this knowledge.
Make no mistake about it; the Bible is very clear; the church is called to global missions. Christ himself commanded his followers to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). Throughout the Bible, God demonstrates a heart for missions, sending his people out to proclaim his good news to the ends of the earth. The early church was incredibly missionary-minded, spreading the gospel from Jerusalem to Rome and beyond. And throughout history, God has used churches committed to global missions to bring about a radical transformation in some of the most challenging places on earth.
When you know the right thing to do, you don't say you will pray about it, or you have to feel led. Many times, over, God is waiting on us to make the first step. Not doing so, according to the Bible, it's sinful. Many who ignore the mandate from Christ will have to answer for it.
God has called us to be his witnesses in the world. He has given us everything we need to be successful. He has equipped us with his Holy Spirit and given us the Word of God. We can be confident that when we obey God's call, He will bless our efforts. We must all take global missions earnestly to fulfill the mandate from Christ. We each have a role to play in this endeavor, and by working together, we can make a significant impact. Let's all pray for guidance and strength as we work to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth.
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MISSIONS ON YOUR HEART?
If you are a ministry, minister, or person of God that wants to dive deeper into missions but don't know how that looks for you, feel free to contact me. I would love to explore your heart and see where God leads you. I can share with you all the avenues that I am aware of in the hopes of connecting and plugging you into the right place that God has for you in the world of missions. Reaching lives for Jesus Christ in the international fields requires thoughtful planning. There is a mission pipeline sort of speak that needs to be built out specifically for you. I can help you do that.