Why your church should care about global mission
2 Nov 2015
Churches are busy places. There is a lot to do and barely enough people or money to do what is needed. So why would a local church want to put time, energy and money into mission overseas? Here are five reasons that local churches need to serve God’s mission across the street and across the world.
After rising from the dead, Jesus made it very clear that this good news was to be to be taken to every nation, people, tribe and language on earth. It’s not only evident in the oft quoted ‘Great Commission’ in Matthew (28:18-20), but also in Luke (24:45-49), John (20:21-23) and Acts (1:8). But as important as this is, there are other very powerful reasons for local churches to be globally active.
It’s who we are
As God’s redeemed people we must reflect the priorities and concerns of our mission-minded God. God’s earliest commands for his image bearers to ‘fill the earth’ (Gen 1:28; 9:1) and His great promises to Abraham that his offspring would be a source of blessing to all Nations, clearly show that God has always been the God of all nations. He called Israel to display his glory in the Old Testament but today we are God’s ‘chosen people’ called to ‘declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness’ (1 Peter 2:9 cf. Ex 19:6). Global mission is the fruit of serving a global God.
The gospel is global
The apostle Paul was driven to preach the gospel wherever he could because he realised that it ‘is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes’ (Rom 1:16). Jesus’ life, death and resurrection mean that people from every nation, tribe and tongue can have peace with God. If we truly believe that hell is eternal and ‘there is no other name by which we must be saved’ (Acts 4:12) then how can we keep it to ourselves?
We are blessed to be a blessing
God gives gifts to His church for the extension of His Kingdom. There are people in every church with skills, talents and resources that can be used to make Christ known in places where gospel ministry is limited. It may be the financial ability to support people overseas, or logistical skills to help ministry happen elsewhere, or even the cultural intelligence needed to live and serve in another country. Whatever it is we must release these skills, talents and resources for the peoples and places they were intended.
It will benefit local ministry
We live in a technological, interconnected world where the culture of our neighbourhood is changing daily. The cultural difference between our churches and our communities is growing fast. But missionaries are experts in understanding and bridging cultural differences. If we are deeply involved in supporting, praying for, visiting and resourcing global ministries, then we will learn more and more how to engage with the secular culture on our doorstep.
Part two of this series: ‘5 ways your church could multiply its global impact‘.
Tim is part of the faculty at the SMBC School of Cross-cultural Mission, and Director of their gap year program, The Bridge. In 2012 Tim and his family spent four months in India.