In his book, Falling in love with the Church, church planter Larry McKain raises and answers a question concerning when a new church should get involved in global, ends-of-the-earth outreach.
In many new and existing churches across North America, however, the question is often raised, "Why should we support our denominational missions' efforts? We need money for our ministry here at home. We are not strong enough to give money away. Now is not the time to be concerned about the global call of Christianity. We will be committed to that in the future, just not now."
This is a common attitude found these days throughout the church. It is not a new attitude. This kind of thinking has been around for a long time. I want to suggest that this issue is not just a monetary one, it is a theological one. It again comes down to our basic beliefs about the church. Our answer is directly related to our doctrine of ecclesiology. What do we believe about the nature, mission and vision of Christ's church?
What does Jesus think about this issue? Does He address it in the Scriptures? No serious Christian questions whether or not we should be committed to reaching the entire world with the good news of the gospel. In the Great Commission, our Lord makes very clear [that we are to] "Go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19). The question is, when does our mission become global? When does Jesus expect us to be committed globally? In the second year, the fourth year, or the sixth year after we come to Christ?
When does Jesus expect our church to be committed to being a globally-minded church? When should we make a commitment to begin building global Christians? In the second year, the fourth year, or the sixth year after our church is started? I want to suggest that if the DNA for building global Christians is not put into a Christian from day one, or is not put into a local church from day one, we are discipling a Christian and building a church that is in disobedience to the mission and vision of Jesus. This is not to say that we expect people who are spiritually less than six months old to be fully committed and take their two-week vacation to go on mission trips. What we are talking about here is the DNA of the church's vision and the strategic thinking of the church's leadership.
-- Larry McKain in Falling in love with the Church (Kansas City: New Church Specialities, 2004), pp. 244-245
Howard Culbertson, 5901 NW 81st, Oklahoma
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