Are you involved in missions? Is your church involved in missions in your local community, nation or other parts of the world? This question should never come up.
Jesus told His apostles they should go and be His witnesses, which means sharing what He has done and what they have experienced with Him ‘in Jerusalem’ – their own town; ‘in Judea’ – their country; ‘in Samaria’ – the neighbouring countries, and in every part of the world. (See Acts 1:8.)
So you see, as Christians, each of us and each church has the responsibility to share in the ministry throughout the world; we call this ‘missions’. Charles Spurgeon said: “Every Christian is either a missionary or an impostor.” Missions can be carried out in many ways. In the old days, missionaries went to develop and control; it was their church and they ran it. Nowadays, such a concept of missions is deficient. The modern concept of missionaries is to go as witnesses, and they train and assist the local Christians to become independent, to be witnesses themselves, to do the work of the Church in their country, and to undertake the leadership of the church. It seems to me that the modern concept of missions is a very biblical one. It is involvement of the worldwide Church in worldwide ministry.
Jesus told His disciples: “Go and make disciples of all nations.” That sounds like a command to me.
In his book, The Missionary Call, David Sills said: “If someone does not have a missions heart at home, nothing magical happens when they buckle the seatbelt on the airplane.” Missions does not only occur on foreign soil; you do not need a passport to be a missionary. What you need is obedience. As followers of Christ, our lives were never intended to seek our own comfort, joy and entertainment. We are all missionaries, and every Christian is called to share the love of Christ. Some of us are called to go far away, and others are called to stay local, but we are ALL called to take part.
We are told that God will give us resources and ability, and we are to use them to expand His Kingdom to every point on the globe. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Winkie Pratney, New Zealand evangelist, says: “Every Christian a missionary; every non-Christian a mission field.” Missions is not something that only a select few are called to do. Every Christian is called to share God’s love and mercy wherever God has placed us.
God saved each of us with missions, and missions is why He is using us now. Throughout history the world has desired strength, but God has always used weakness. When trying to conquer the world the Nazis sent brute force, the Romans sent warriors, but God is sending the weak, poor and uneducated. Jim Elliot, martyr and missionary to Ecuador, said: “We are a bunch of nobodies trying to exalt Somebody.”
Throughout Scripture, Christ’s followers are called sojourners, pilgrims and strangers in a strange land. We do not belong, and have been sent out only to spread God’s glory through evangelism and missions. We are missionaries in our own homes, in our towns, in our schools, at our jobs, across the street and around the world.
No individual, no congregation, no denomination, no nation can contain God. God is not the God of the English; He is not the God of the Pentecostals, Baptists or Methodists, or even of the Catholics. We must all be doing God’s will within our community; missions is a part of that ministry. Evangelism, outreach, social ministry, leadership training and missions all go together.
Is your church doing anything beyond meeting on Sundays and singing hymns? Are you carrying the witness of Christ with you during the week, on your job? Do you do what you do for Christ, through Christ and with Christ? Jesus said: “This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Consider your church’s activities. Jesus has said: “Go and make disciples.” In what way are you helping to make disciples? This is the primary mission of the Church.