As someone who has always loved to travel, see new places and serve far away communities, the idea of mission in my hometown or neighborhood is a perspective on mission that I perhaps had never really engaged with.
I studied missions in Bible college, and there were times when the class was asked to reflect on global versus local mission. I was always the first one to advocate global mission. Having been on a number of mission trips myself I had experienced what these trips outside of your comfort zone can, not only do to your faith, but what they teach you about God, His people, and service. But then there was always something that niggled in my heart about serving those who are right here. The lady at the grocery store, or the teenager who didn’t yet know about Jesus. This is mission too, right?
The definition of mission is to go and make disciples, teaching them everything that Jesus has commanded us. And in fact, the only verb in that verse is not what you would expect. The verb is to make disciples, not to go, but to spend your time and energy on making disciples as you go. Maybe we have got too caught up on the going part? Maybe sometimes we have forgotten what we actually need to be doing in our going, that is, making disciples and teaching them about Jesus.
Living without travel opportunities and with social distancing in the last year we have had to find creative ways to still be involved in mission. This has made us think about how much “going” is really a crucial part of being a missions-minded disciple of Jesus.
Did we get too caught up in the going that we forgot the fundamental of making disciples? What a blessing this time has been to focus our attention back on local mission. Mission to those around us. Mission is right here, right now.
There will be a time again when global mission will be at the forefront of our minds, and oh how vital it is too. Both global and local mission is essential to making God’s Name known. But for now, let’s look at how we can also be reaching out locally.
Contact your local OMF Centre and see how you can get involved!