It can be easy for Christians in western nations to forget that there are many people who have still never heard the good news of Jesus. More than this, that they have not even heard that the man Jesus existed in the first place. All to quickly we become complacent about the gospel of Christ. We get more caught up with the important issues of life like the next episode of Made in Chelsea or the next major sporting event.
Let me be clear I am not saying that you shouldn’t have leisure time even if that means educating yourself with E4’s newest, bigger and brighter and betterest TV goodness. What I do want to say however is that we really do not spend anyway near enough time getting on with the mission of God.
After we have finished work and completed our house errands, had dinner and potentially got kids to bed or met up with a friend it is time to sleep and do it all over again. But being involved in God’s mission through out the world is possible. Most of us will remain in our home country but that does not diminish the important role we can have in global mission. Here are some things which are vital to the spread of the gospel which we can all do where ever we are located.
1. Pray – The great gift of the Christian yet often the most neglected. This is vital to the work of missions! Find out who your church supports and sends then ask for a copy of their update. Also, pray for new workers who will go and take the good news of Jesus in all its fullness to those who have not heard. Another way of praying is getting a resource, such as Operation World, which gives a broad profile of every nation and helpful pointers to pray through. Never under estimate the importance of your ministry in prayer for missions.
2. Give – Only by the sacrificial giving of God’s people does the work of missions take place. How much do we spend on ourselves or hobbies? Now how much of this is actually necessary? Only by re-orientating our minds to the new creation and the revealing of Christ as the king and judge of the living and the dead will we remember what the priorities are.
3. e-mail/facebook – Often it can be draining for people working cross culturally, sometimes even lonely depending on the circumstances and situations. Day in and day out heckling is not an advised course of action of course! But the occasional communication can be a real encouragement to someone who is finding it tough. How long does it take to compose a message to someone? In the providence of God this can be an amazing way of helping.
4. Treat missionaries as real people – It may shock people to know that they are normal human beings! Too often there seems to be a pedestal that mission workers are given which is precariously high off the ground. As with any of us they will have good days and bad days, they will like cake but dislike curry etc….. It is not good enough for us to ostracize them so we don’t have to deal with their normalness. It suits us if they are “different” because then we can’t be used by God to do “the good work that they are doing”.
5. See God’s heart for the nations in his word – This theme pervades the whole of the bible and exudes from the heart of God. He desires that all the nations of the world would once again know him and live in relationship with him. It is therefore our privilege to carry out the task which Christ has given us in Matt 28. Although it is the great commission it can also be seen as the great permission. God willingly wants to use us, his people, to spread his good news to the ends of the earth.
6. Go – You see this is actually an option! Many of us dismiss this as we are “not suited” to cross cultural work. But how many of us have truly come before God in prayer and asked him, “Am I/Are we to go?”. No doubt we will not want to think about this, but we must ask the question. Maybe God wishes to use you in this way?
Here is a helpful video highlighting the task of the church which still needs to be completed
We can all be involved in Christ’s kingdom work across all the whole globe. Let’s resolve in our hearts and minds to glorify God in this way.