Monday, January 23, 2012

A Missions Challenge

It's Mission Monday here at Spoiled For The Ordinary.

I've just started focusing posts on Mondays toward missions, but I'm anticipating a question/comment that could come up at some point.

"You talk about foreign missions all the time, but what about the need here in the United States?"

Let me state up front that I am a big fan of the missional movement that talks about always being called on mission. Whether I am at work, enjoying the state fair, coaching on the soccer field, or chatting on the internet about my favorite video game, I believe God can use me. My life is my mission, and there's no off-duty. I want to see people around me know about the glorious freedom of the children of God. I live in an area of the United States that has a desperate need for evangelism. I don't diminish this fact.

Still, I know that if half of the people who went to Bible-believing churches in my town fully lived for Jesus, this town could be transformed. (And I am one of these who needs to fully live my life for Jesus - let me challenge myself first!) My feeling has long been that there are enough Christians in this area to do the work needed. There are at least churches here that love Jesus.

The problem is that there are so many places around the world without a Christian witness. My mission trip to Thailand was to an area that had two churches in the city - and the province. Two churches for a population of 150,000 or so. There are nations and people groups who have no reproducing witness of Christ, whether due to lack of freedom or being a hard area to witness.

There are a lot of issues that I can talk about related to this. I know that it is hard for Westerners to be effective missionaries in all areas due to risks, cost, etc., and that it is easier for native missionaries to do work in various regions. Not everyone feels called to go, and I'm generally okay with that (although there's the old Keith Green saying that the Bible tells us to GO, so we'd better have special leading from the Lord if we're staying!) However, there is a need for being enlightened about conditions and opportunities in the world.

I will talk about local missions as specifics arise, but my focus is going to be international, because we are abundantly blessed in America. Almost embarrassingly so. We can be so fat from feeding ourselves spiritually, we get lazy and forget to give to others. I'd like to do my little part in changing that.

Hard words for a Monday. What do you think about this? I'm truly interested to hear!

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