Tale of two churches:

What is our church's responsibility for world evangelism?

How do churches respond to Jesus Christ's Great Commission about reaching every people group on earth with the Gospel? Is Matthew 28:19-20 a factor in how they use their resources? Does God's promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:3 shape a church's goals and activities?

What place should global evangelism occupy in every local church on earth?

Prevailing attitude in church A:
Our blessings bring equal responsibilities
  1. Passion for and information about world evangelization permeates church life throughout the year.
  2. Every member expects to have some role in the global harvest including prayer, giving, mobilizing other and so on
  3. God's heart for the nations can be sensed in almost every service.
  4. Church leadership often challenges people of all ages to be open to God's call to cross- cultural global missionary service.
  5. Going on short-term mission trips (such as Work & Witness) is the expected norm.
  6. The average lay member of congregation A can name several missions scripture verses, knowing God's heart for all nations is the theme of the Bible.
  7. World missions needs are met even before the electric bill is paid.
  8. Many members know who the church's adopted (LINKS) missionaries are, where they serve, and what their needs are.
  9. Mission information and prayer times are mainstream.
  10. The church has a goal of giving no less than 25% of its income to world missions.
  11. Supporting global evangelization is seen as a key reason churches exist.

 

Prevailing attitude in church B:
God's blessings on us are for us to enjoy
  1. Missions is that annual weekend event for taking Faith Promise pledges. [ more on Faith Promise ]
  2. Only those who are super-spiritual or those who are "called" get passionate about supporting global missions efforts.
  3. Other than during the Faith Promise weekend, missions is rarely mentioned.
  4. People are looked at if they are irresponsibly abandoning opportunities for ministry in their home city if they say God is calling them into overseas missionary service.
  5. Going going on a short-term mission trip like Work and Witness in considered something only for fanatics.
  6. The average attender in this church can only name two or three Scripture verses that deal with ends-of-the-earth outreach ministry. [ more ]
  7. In a financial pinch, the first thing that's reduced is world missions giving.
  8. Almost no one in the church knows who their assigned (Links) missionaries are or where they are serving. [ more on Links ]
  9. Events focusing on global missions aren't held very often and are poorly attended.
  10. World missions giving rarely surpasses the minimum funding suggested (5.5% of the church's weekly income).
  11. Supporting world missions is considered a "necessary evil" that occasionally intrudes on the real ministry of the church.

Which of these two churches will our church be?

Will we be part of God's purpose to add to the Body of Christ those purchased with His blood "from every nation, tribe, people and language"? (Revelation 7:9)

Developing a local church missions program

Try these books:

Out-of-print books which you might find in used in bookstores or online

Get the CD titled: "Stuff you need to know about doing missions in your church"

When should World Mission support begin in newly-planted churches?

Should we wait a while?

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), pp. 244-245. Used here in accordance with the "fair use" provisions of U.S. copyright law.

Missions slogans

next Missionary slogans to inspire and energize [ more ]

    -- Howard Culbertson

"Until all world areas and the people in them have been reached, we must send or be sent." -- Michael D., pastor and Nazarene Bible College student