You matter to God. He delights in you. And through you his love can flow like living water to people and places of his world of which perhaps very few of us are aware. What a joy it will be one day to stand next to believers of every tribe and language and people and nation, knowing he loved them through us.
In our fast-paced global world, it is a challenge to know how to become intentionally involved in God’s global plan. Things keep changing so rapidly. We live in an age when discovering purposeful involvement in God’s affairs around the world requires us to be so much more intentional. If we don’t want the amazing work of God in the world to pass us by, we need to engage proactively.
How can you intentionally become involved in what God is doing amongst the nations? Perhaps God is calling you to “frontline” missions. If you sense this call, go for it! But if God is not calling you to go cross-culturally, don’t count yourself out of his plan for the nations. We all fill different roles in our churches – in the same way, we should all fill specific roles in the global mission effort. This is the only way we will ever reach the 4 billion non-Christian and more than 6000 unreached people groups in the world.
In this brochure we describe six ways to be the loving hands of Christ reaching the peoples of the world: going, praying, sending, mobilising, welcoming and learning.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you: and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” Acts 1:8
Some people are “goers” who give up the lifestyle they have always known, perhaps ‘creature comforts’ or professional opportunities of which they had always dreamed, in exchange for a life in a new culture among people who speak a different language and eat different foods – in order to be conduits of Jesus’ love. It may be short-or long-term, but without those who are willing to step out in faith, the nations cannot receive the gospel.
Some ways to go
- Go long term as a cross-cultural missionary.
- Be a ‘finisher’ – late 40’s or 50’s – spend the last part of your professional career on the mission field.
- Go short-term – one, two or three years, or a few weeks as part of a short-term team.
- Be a ‘tentmaker’ using your profession or business skills to share the gospel among the nations.
- Go on a vision trip to an Unreached People Group.
“And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ…” Colossians 4:3
Far from being a “minor” or “default” role in missions, prayer is essential to God’s work amongst the nations. Those involved in the ministry of prayer lift the ‘goers’ and the people they serve before the throne of God. Through prayer, the Christians at home do as much for foreign mission as those actually on the field.
Some ways to pray
- Sign up to receive regular e-mails, bulletins of magazines from mission agencies, or serving missionaries.
- Pray for countries that come up on the news.
- Become part of a missions prayer group at your church or with friends. Start one if there isn’t already one.
- Read and pray through country-specific prayer guides, e.g. Operation World, OMF prayer sites, etc.
- Correspond with missionaries – receive their prayer letters
“And how can they preach unless they are sent?” Romans 10:15
Since the time of Paul, missionaries haven’t just gone; they have been sent. They have been supported and encouraged by God’s people. Senders pray, communicate, lend cars, organize events, print and distribute prayer letters, give financially, and do a wide variety of other creative actions. The love, encouragement and strength of senders carry the workers who bring the gospel where it has never gone. Senders are vital.
Some ways to send
- Financially support a missionary or project.
- Use your skills (financial, medical, etc.) and give your services for free.
- Donate frequent flyer miles to a missionary needing to travel.
- Offer a place for missionaries to store their possessions while on the field.
- Offer a car for missionaries to use whilst visiting your area.
- Offer a home/flat for missionaries to use whilst they are in their home country.
- Offer a holiday spot to visiting missionaries.
“And the things you have heard me say … entrust to reliable men who will be qualified to teach others.” 2 Timothy 2:2
Before one goes, sends or becomes a prayer partner, he must be mobilised. Someone must educate, make aware and help others to the point of involvement. The Christian church must be mobilised to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. Mobilisers must “light the fire” and call God’s people to action- they are called to disciple, mentor and support those whom God has moved. This is a vital role.
Some ways to mobilise
- Organise a missions emphasis week at your church, school or Christian community.
- Set up a table/display focussed on mission at your church.
- Organise a small group with a missions focus.
- Invite a friend to a missions conference.
- Join or volunteer with a mission agency’s mobilization team.
“You are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt.” Deuteronomy 10:19
In many ways the mission field is coming to us. The presence of internationals living in our communities provides a golden opportunity to share the gospel and show the love of Christ. Someone from an “unreached” people group may live next door – reach out to them with the love of Jesus. Welcoming refers to ministry to internationals. In South Africa we have approximately 700 000 Mainland Chinese alone – if they could be reached here with the gospel, imagine what a mighty missionary force that would be to take the gospel back to China.
Some ways to send
- Start a Bible study for international students.
- Go to international holiday events to meet internationals e.g. Chinese New Year.
- Host special holiday events for internationals to celebrate Christmas and Easter.
- Offer English lessons through your church or from home.
- Find ways to connect with internationals – be intentional.
No matter where we are on the journey of involvement in missions, we all need to learn more of God’s heart and purposes for the world. Goers educate themselves on the people and places they will go. Senders observe carefully to meet the needs of missionaries. Intercessors learn all they can because “informed prayer is effective prayer”. Welcomers build bridges when they know and understand the internationals near them, and mobilisers are most effective as they stay abreast of what God is doing in the world. We can all be lifelong learners. Increase your knowledge and vision for the world and apply it across all the other ways described to reach the world for Christ.
Some ways to learn
- Read a missionary biography.
- Pay attention to world news reports in the media and use it as prayer fuel.
- Use the internet to explore different areas and cultures of the world.
- Use missions resources.
- Serve as a volunteer with a missions agency or join a church missions committee.