Do we really understand the nature of salvation?

Slogans to awaken the Church

Sayings about world missionary evangelism that stir hearts and move people to action

"A congregation that is not deeply and earnestly involved in the worldwide proclamation of the gospel does not understand the nature of salvation." -- Ted Engstrom, former head of Youth for Christ and World Vision International

Jumping out at me from Ted Engstrom's words is the phrase "deeply and earnestly involved." For me, those words raise questions like:

From time to time, I hear people describe their congregation's involvement in world missionary evangelism as simply, "We always pay our budgets." Things like intercessory prayer support or encouraging children and youth to get involved or providing needed emotional support for missionaries serving on foreign fields do not seem to be on those people's radar.

For them, world missions support is apparently only about sending some money. Furthermore, the way they say "we pay our budgets" sometimes sounds like they view money given to world evangelism as a "tax" levied by the denomination. "We pay our budgets" gives me the impression that they are neither deeply nor earnestly involved in the worldwide proclamation of the gospel.

Others, when asked about their church's global involvement, will mention mission trips taken by small groups in their congregation. However, if sending a few members overseas for ten days a year is all they are doing, can it be said that they are "deeply and earnestly involved"?

I've heard people in new church plants explain that it is too early in their congregation's history for them to think about the worldwide proclamation of the gospel. "We'll get to it eventually," they say.

Engstrom, who was head of Youth for Christ and then World Vision, would likely respond to that by saying, "If involvement in world evangelism is an option your church hopes to add in the distant future, you really do not understand the nature of salvation."

I've known others who say, "We are called to evangelize right here in our neighborhood. This is where we are fulfilling the Great Commission."

To that, I think Engstrom would respond, "The lost people in your immediate neighborhood need to hear the Gospel, but if you are only concerned about them and no one else in the world, you do not understand the nature of salvation."

Deeply and earnestly. Key words. Do they characterize my church's global involvement? Do those words characterize my own involvement?

Discussion questions

  1. Can you think of a congregation that you would describe as "deeply and earnestly involved" in world missionary evangelism?
  2. Why can it be said that a narrow focus on evangelizing one's immediate neighborhood reflects an incomplete understanding of the nature of salvation?
  3. What are some ways churches can support world missions beyond financial contributions, and why is this important for truly being "deeply and earnestly involved"?
  4. Does a church sending a few members overseas for short mission trips qualify as being "deeply and earnestly involved" in world evangelism? Why or why not?
  5. How can individuals assess their own involvement in global evangelism (praying, giving, sending, mobilizing or going) and take steps to become more deeply and earnestly involved?

    -- Howard Culbertson,

What does "deeply and earnestly involved" mean?

To be deeply and earnestly involved in something is to immerse oneself fully and passionately in a particular activity, cause, or pursuit. It goes beyond mere engagement; it's a profound commitment that stems from genuine interest, dedication, and a sense of purpose. When people are deeply and earnestly involved, they invest not only their time and energy but also their heart and soul into whatever they are pursuing. It often entails a willingness to persevere through challenges, to learn and grow, and to contribute meaningfully to the endeavor at hand. Being deeply and earnestly involved in something fosters a sense of fulfillment, satisfaction, and connection, as it allows individuals to align themselves with what they truly value and believe in.


The nature of salvation indeed speaks volumes about the importance of world evangelism. To begin with, Christ's Great Commision highlights the imperative of evangelism as a means to share the message of salvation with people worldwide. Moreover, the concept of salvation often entails a transformation of individuals and communities, leading to spiritual growth, reconciliation, and redemption. By supporting world evangelism, believers can extend the opportunity for such transformation to all people, irrespective of their cultural, social, or geographical backgrounds. In short, the nature of salvation underscores the urgency and necessity of world evangelism.

More on world missions for you