Should the Church be involved in foreign missions?

3 Mar

Believe it or not, that question is often in the hearts and minds of some.  I’ve heard it many times in many different ways, and not only in my church but in churches across the US:  “Why are we going to __________ when there are needs right here at home?”  That is a really good question.  Here, I believe, is God’s answer to that question from His word.

WHY be involved in foreign missions?

In Matthew 28, Jesus said these words just before He ascended into Heaven after the resurrection:  “19 Go therefore and make disciples of ALL NATIONS, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (NIV)  In the second half of Acts 1:8, Jesus said “you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the END OF THE EARTH.”  So the first, simple answer is that Christ COMMANDED us to be involved in GLOBAL MISSIONS.

But a deeper look at Acts 1:8b tells us that He not only commanded us to be involved globally, but LOCALLY as well.  So the biblical answer to this question is He commanded us to DO BOTH LOCAL AND GLOBAL MISSIONS.

So, WHERE ARE YOU INVOLVED?  When someone questions a church’s response to global missions, a legitimate question to ask is “What are YOU doing locally to build the Kingdom of God?”  I have never believed it is enough to state publicly what your church should be doing … If you have a heart for something that needs to be done, GET INVOLVED AND DO IT.  It is not enough to alert leaders to a need, but (to borrow a page from the Purpose Driven Church) if you have a passion for a ministry YOU need to help make it happen.  And that involves more than just alerting others to the need and expecting them to make it happen.

One of the things that makes our Honduras partnership work so well is we have leaders in that ministry who are passionate about it.  For a mission project and a partnership to endure, you must have passion.  You must pray and seek God’s face and allow Him to lead.  When we take the reigns away from Him and guide things in our own directions, we often make a mess.

Another element in this is God’s timing.  God’s timing is always perfect, but rarely what WE want it to be.  When we enter into a new ministry at Ebenezer, it takes time to allow God to work on the hearts and minds of His people.  At times, this can be very frustrating.  Over and over in God’s word we see examples of the Children of Israel in the most hopeless places… And then they turn to God.  And He does things of which we cannot even DREAM!!!  (1 Samuel 7 is a great example of that)

So, the real question here is not  “Should the church be involved in foreign missions?” or even “Should the church be involved in MISSIONS?”  The REAL question is this:  “WHERE ARE YOU INVOLVED?”

One Response to “Should the Church be involved in foreign missions?”

  1. Betty Meara March 3, 2014 at 11:47 am #

    Great answer!!

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