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?
|Prevailing attitude in church A:
Our blessings bring equal responsibilities
|Prevailing attitude in church
God's blessings on us are for us to enjoy
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)
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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. This is not just a monetary issue. It is a theological issue.one. It 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 Christians and building churches that will fall short of full obedience 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.
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-- 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