Is Global Missions a Waste of Time?
Is global missions a waste of time? After all, why worry about Colombia when there is so much need in Chandler? Why spend ourselves on people we don’t know, when there are so many people without Christ we do know? From time to time I hear these sentiments from people in the church. Many of these people grew up in churches that loved the “nations” but ignored their “neighbors”. Or maybe they were turned off missionaries who seem to have more in common with the Imperialists than the Apostles. You know what I’m talking about—some people have visions of parachuting in to a virgin territory, unannounced and uninvited, and setting the heathen straight. Their god-complexes lead them to believe they are “in charge” and have more to give than receive (David Mark, On Someone Else’s Terms, 5).
This version of missions is scary, and it’s certainly not what we are thinking about when we talk about global missions at Hope. The heartbeat, the red-hot core, of Hope Covenant Church is to “help people take one step closer to Christ.” This is what we daydream about, this is what keeps us up at night—we desperately want to see men, women, boys and girls accept the good news and experience new life in Christ. This why we care about global missions, it’s part of the fabric of reaching on more for Jesus.
In Acts 1:8, the resurrected Jesus tells his disciples, “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Put another way, “you will be my witnesses in Chandler, and in all Arizona and the United States and to the end of the earth.” Jesus is painting for us a picture of four geographic circles around us—our local community, our region, our diverse nation and the entire world—and he says that you and I are his witnesses in all four. Here’ the kicker—our calling of taking the gospel to each of these four regions is not sequential, it’s simultaneous! Jesus wants the church preaching and promoting the gospel locally and globally. The entire structure of the book of Acts is revolves around this idea. The gospel first takes root in Jerusalem and then it progressively spreads outward over the entire world.
|TEXT||NAME OF REGION||MINISTRY THERE|
|Acts 1:8: You will be my witnesss...||in Jerusalem||Acts 1-8|
|in Judea and Samaria||Acts 9-12|
|to the ends of the earch||Acts 13-28|
The calling and challange for Hope Covenant Church is for us to be Spirit-powered “witnesses” in Chandler, Arizona, and to the end of the earth. The Greek word witness is the same word for martyr, it means that a person is loyal to the cause no matter what. To be a witness is give an almost legal testimony about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. It’s exactly what we see in the early sermons in Acts. (e.g. 2:14-39, 3:12-26, 4:8-12, 1-34-43, 13:16-41)
The beautiful thing about this worldwide mission, according to Acts, is that God chooses to use ordinary people to do extraordinary things. The gospel spreads in all of these areas, not because of supersaints, but because of everyday people being faithful to God’s calling. The reason for this is when we receive Christ we “receive the power [and] the Holy Spirit comes on [us]” (Acts 1:8a). The reason you and I and Hope Covenant Church can spread the fame and glory and greatness of God in all four of these areas is because we have access to divine power. Our God is a Missionary God on a rescue mission, and he invites you and I to engage in the mission today.
How are you currently advancing the gospel in these Chandler, Arizona, the United States and the end of the world? Which one is most difficult? How can you be a “witness” today? How can you support gospel witnesses around the world? Would you consider locking arms with our Colombia Mission Team and agreeing to pray for them now and then once a day during their trip (April 26 – May 5)?