Whatever one thinks of these numbers, one thing is clear: despite 225 years of Protestant missionary advance, the world is still largely unevangelized...
Duane Elmer gives the following helpful list as symptoms of culture shock in his book, Cross Cultural Connections. If you are going through culture shock this list may not lessen the pain you are feeling right now, but it can help you identify what is really going on.
(Video) God's grace in the life of missionary Gracia Burnham. Gracia tells her story ten years after the rescue from Muslim extremists that ended in the death of her husband.
This week I have been participating in an annual training conference for cross-cultural missionaries. I serve as the Africa Director for a mission agency, IBMGlobal.
This year we have missionary candidates heading to South Sudan, Costa Rica, the jungles of Peru, Zambia and Liberia.
I’m always challenged by the interaction with men and women who are committed to taking the gospel around the world. The workshops are incredibly refreshing.
Mark Vowels, is the missions prof at BJUniversity. On Monday Mark brought workshops dealing with cross-cultural ministry, strategy and cultural adaptation.
On Tuesday Dr. Sam Horn helped us with a theological foundation for suffering and trials that will enable us to minster to others in their pain. Later in the day we discussed managing conflict biblically.
The Wednesday sessions with Dr Dave Doran focused on principles for evaluating what is acceptable and not acceptable in the host culture and the implications of this on indigenous ministry.
Neal Cushman and Steve Stadtmiller handled the nuts and bolts of ministry in the Thursday sessions: Developing a field strategy, Deputation, Funding & the Family and Ministry.
This has been a great week of fellowship and ministry refreshment. I'm thankful for the opportunity to serve with this board, the churches sending these missionaries, and the faithful men and women heading out to serve Christ.
The Great Commandment states that we are to “love the Lord... with all your heart, soul, strength and mind.” The Great Commission states that we are to “go into all the world and preach the gospel” to everyone, everywhere.
Thomas Ragland was a missionary many years ago in the land of India. From his experience he shared the following three lessons concerning the work of missions:
1. Of all the qualifications for mission work, and every other work, love is the greatest (I Cor. 13).
2. Of all methods of attaining to a position of usefulness and honor, the only safe one is purging our hearts from worldliness and selfishness (2 Tim. 2.21).
3. Of all plans for ensuring success, the most certain is Christ’s plan – becoming as a corn of wheat, falling into the ground and dying. (Jn. 12.24)
This is what Jesus Christ did over two thousand years ago. He lost His life and his fame. He went around over the world talking to men and women, taking little children up in His arms and ignoring what the world thought was important. He lived His life for others and to accomplish the will of His Father. And in the end, he lost His life!
Though he lost His life, He has found it again in the millions throughout the ages who have received His message and become His followers. Christ was motivated by love. He lived a life of selfless devotion to the Father and to others. He died and in dying offered life to every person in the world today. Jesus then commissioned us – you and me - to go with His love and the message of His life to “everybody, everywhere!”
Will you get involved by praying, giving and going?
Pastor, get in touch with us personally! It is a blessing to talk with a pastor in a supporting church and it is abundantly clear that he actually knows who you are and can interact with you about what is going on in the ministry - he reads our prayer letters and is informed. Don’t forget communication is a two-way street!
NOT EVERYTHING CALLED MISSIONS IS MISSIONS. My understanding of missionary work is formed by the Book of Acts. The clear pattern there is evangelism, discipleship, establishing churches, and training pastors / elders. When I came to my present pastorate I studied the list of supported missionaries and discovered that of 16 entities only two were on this program...
We must avoid the tendency to view structural, educational, and organizational development within the missionary endeavor as an end in itself, rather than as a means to the end of making Jesus the Object of worship worldwide.
At no place is the tension between the various views of God’s sovereignty been highlighted more clearly than regarding the matter of personal salvation. Again, all orthodox believers would assent to God’s sovereignty in this area, but their respective understandings of it would be considerably different.
The relationship between God’s sovereignty and the tasks of evangelism and missions is often the central point of tension. Although there is ample evidence from church history that belief in God’s sovereign control, even over the bestowal of salvation, provided the kindling for the Great Awakening and the modern missionary movement...
One great evil a minister must guard against is harboring a spirit of competition toward other ministers and ministries. There is temptation to compare ministries, programs, attendance records or other forms of visible “success”
Though officially a part of Tanzania, Zanzibar has its own government and run the island in a semi-autonomous way. Zanzibar has a few "Christian" churches these include Catholic, Anglican and Pentecostal congregations. There is an underlying level of Islamic resistance and persecution of "Christian" religions.
One of the problems that we face in missions today is a spectator mentality in churches because we have abdicated our responsibility to complete the Great Commission to mission boards and/or to individual missionaries.
We pastors and local churches have certain obligations to our missionaries that we should not take lightly. Many do, to our undying shame. Here are a least six:
Your job is to evangelize, disciple, plant churches, train leaders for those churches, and then repeat. We have no control over the job description and we dare not tamper with it. It’s God’s master plan and the only one that works. Expectations are another thing altogether.... We as your supporting churches don’t think our expectations are unrealistic, but neither do we want you ignorant of our expectations. That’s where relationships break down.
No one was ever called to be a good example to the lost. It takes verbalization. Speaking the truth, in love of course, but nonetheless, they were called to proclaim, not live out a pious silent witness.
For the most part, church members do not engage in the great commission at a personal level but rather by contributing resources so that the corporate body can send out a “Great Commission Expert” (missionary) to do it for them. However, this is a far cry from what the Lord intended when He issued the Commission.
Modern believers have convinced themselves that spiritual maturity is based on information and that it takes a long time. However, if one follows the New Testament pattern, mature disciples were made in short order. They were tested by persecution and stood! The secret was the absolute insistence on personal obedience to the demands and expectations of Scripture. This is the forgotten side of the Great Commission in many churches today.
Many contemporary approaches to the Great Commission have focused on the Lord’s instruction to go to all nations. In other words, for them, the dominant responsibility of the commission is to go to the nations. However, the grammar of the Lord’s statement makes clear that the central imperative of the Commission is the making of disciples. That central imperative will be accomplished by three accompanying activities – going, baptizing, and teaching.