Monday, May 27, 2013

Why We Do World Missions

In front of you is a large rectangular table that is quite heavy. On one end of the table there stands one small weak woman and at the other end of the table stand five strong men. If the table had to be moved across the room what would that look like? The five men would have no problem with their side of the table but the woman would have to strain to even get the table off the ground let alone to move it to a different location. That is one visual of believing Christians worldwide. We here in American would be the five men while the unreached of the world would be the woman at the other end.

The U.S. Center for World Mission defines unreached as, “those groups whose populations (which can range from hundreds to millions) contain only a very small percentage of people who follow Christ (2% or less). Typically, this small percentage is not sufficient to build and sustain a movement to Christ internally. Those who are part of an unreached people group have little to no opportunity to hear a clear presentation of the Gospel—one that is culturally intelligible to them. In this case, the gospel must be presented and lived out by people from outside their people group.”

Certainly not all of us are called to become missionaries to the unreached. We are, however, all called to “disciple all nations,” which means that even if we stay here our hearts should be focused there---and so should our prayer and our pocketbooks.

I am enjoying marriage to a woman that has the same focus and understanding as I do regarding Christ’s call to reach the unreached. We have both supported and prayed for missionaries as well as for the persecuted church (“Remember those in prison as though you were in prison with them, and those ill-treated as though you too felt their torment.”). It has been refreshing to be reminded through her of the importance of this focus. That too is why visiting missionaries is important; it keeps you focused on the important things.

The table is easier to move if there are enough people to carry it. The gospel is better spread if there are enough people to share it. “It’s a big, big house with lots and lots of room; and a big, big table, with lots and lots of food.” Let us go invite people to the feast.

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