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!