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Missions Where Do You Fit

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by George Chin, MD

by George Chin, MD

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Missions Where Do You Fit Missions Where Do You Fit Presentation Transcript

  • Missions – Where Do You Fit Six Practices of Missions George N. Chin, MD ECC Summer Conference Camp Berachah, Auburn, Washington August 11, 2007
  • Missions – Where Do You Fit?
    • Jesus' call to " go and make disciples of all nations " is a challenge for all Christians to get involved with God's work around the world. As OMF founder Hudson Taylor once said, "The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed." But that doesn't mean we're all called to be cross-cultural missionaries to the remotest parts of the world. The six (6) Practices of Missions outlines the importance of missions and discusses six avenues of missions involvement: going, praying, sending, mobilizing, welcoming and learning. Each practice is needed as God pursues people from "every tribe, tongue and nation."
  • State of the World
    • As we look at how to make disciples of all nations, it seems wise to first do a brief survey of the status of Christianity in the world.
  • State of the World
    • A trend in missions circles is to view the world in terms of ethnic people groups. Organizations like Joshua Project have done extensive research in this area. Among their findings:
    • The world is home to 6.4 billion people scattered among 10,000 ethnic groups.
    • Roughly 2 billion people are "Christian" in some form (Perspectives on the World Christian Movement estimates there are 680 million "active" Christians in the world).
  • State of the World 75 Million Christians in China
  • State of the World
    • Another 2 billion or so are non-Christians who are "within reach" of the gospel.
    • That leaves 2.5 billion people in more than 6,000 people groups deemed to be "unreached". Most of these live in the “10/40" Window," an area that stretches from 10 degrees latitude north to 40 degrees latitude north, form Africa to Asia. "Unreached" is defined as not having a Christian population that is able to evangelize the rest of this group.
  • 馬太 24:14 “ 這天國的福音要傳遍天下 , 對萬民作見證 , 然後末期才來到 The Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. - Matthew 24:14 10/40 window
  • The Bad News
    • For many, Christianity is still a "Western religion" associated with the Western imperialism of colonial times. But, as we know, Jesus Christ died for the world, that people from every tongue, tribe and nation on earth would know Him and give Him the glory due His name.
  • The Bad News
    • Sadly, this is not happening in most places. In East Asia, 95 % of the 2 billion-plus souls who live there do no know Christ. Places like Thailand, Japan and Tibet are gripped by the idolatry of Buddhism. In other parts of East Asia - Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and parts of Western China - Islam is prevalent. Animism, polytheism, Daoism and atheism all have large numbers of followers as well.
  • The Bad News
    • In the Middle East. Islam reigns supreme, sometimes in a fundamental form that stifles attempts to spread the gospel.
    • Africa, a continent that has long drawn the interest of missionaries, is continually being ravaged by war and is in the midst of an AIDS epidemic. Animism, polytheism and Islam blind the hearts and minds of many.
  • The Bad News
    • Europe, the historical heartland of Christianity, is falling prey to an increasingly secular culture. Christianity is regarded as a relic of the past as materialism and atheism take hold. North America is quickly following suit. In South America, the rituals of folk Catholicism and tribal animism remain.
  • Good News, God At Work
    • But there is good news. God is still at work in the world. In some places, the gospel of Christ is advancing with great momentum. Places like Brazil, Nigeria, Kenya and China are all home to relatively new, vibrant evangelical church movements. As Phillip Jenkins noted in his book The Next Christendom. The Coming of Global Christianity, there is a decided "southward shift" in the growth of Christianity to the continents of Africa, Asia and South America. Jenkins quotes Kenyan scholar John Mbiti as saying: "The centers of the church's universality (are) no longer in Geneva, Rome, Athens, Paris, London, New York, but Kinshasa (Congo), Buenos Aires, Brazil, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and Manila (Philippines).
  • Good News, God At Work
    • A sampling of encouraging statistics and news from around the globe:
    • In the past century, Africa Christian population has grown from 10 million in 1900 to 360 million in 2000
    • The number of Christians in China has grown from close to 1 million in 1949 to possibly 70 million today. One expert has said this is "probably the greatest church growth since Pentecost."
    • In Nepal, more than 100,000 former Hindus have come to Christ in the past 20 years.
  • Good News, God At Work
    • In 1900 Korea was said to be "impossible to penetrate". Today 30% are Christians and South Korea is a major missions sending country.
    • It is expected that by 2010, a majority of people in Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador will be evangelical Christians.
  • Good News, God At Work
    • But much work remains to be done. Thankfully, the burden for reaching the more than 4 billion non-Christians and 6,700-plus unreached people groups of the world is not all on us. As our Lord said in the Great Commission: "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:20). As we take on this incredible task, we are joining the all-powerful, sovereign and loving God of the Universe. And He will be glorified.
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Go
    • "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witness in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth."
    • Acts 1:8
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Go
    • Being a missionary can be risky, illogical step, at least in the world's eyes. Missionaries often give up the life they've always known, perhaps a life of comfort and relative ease, in exchange for a life in a new culture, among people who speak a different language, eat different foods and usually have a much lower standard of living. It can be dangerous. Diseases, violence, natural disaster-all are possible. It's not an easy life.
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Go
    • Without people willing to go, missions would cease to exist. In 21st century, missionaries come in many forms: English teachers, language students, doctors, engineers, physical therapies, agricultural consultants, the list goes on. Don't worry, you probably won't live in a hut.
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Go
    • Even if you're not called to be a long term missionary, you could still go on a short term trip. As many as 500,000 Americans go on a short term missions trip each year. Such trip often lead to a deeper commitment to the Lord and to lifelong missions involvement.
    • Go long term as a missionary
    • Go on a short term trip
    • Organize a short-term trip through your church
    • Go as a businessman or doctor. Be a tentmaker, using your profession to share the gospel among the nations.
    • Go on a vision trip to East Asia or another part of the world.
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Pray
    • " 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
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Pray
    • Believers at home can do as much for overseas missions as those actually on the field. I believe it will only be known on the last day how much has been accomplished in overseas missions by the prayers of earnest believers at home.
    • - J.O. Fraser, Pioneer Missionary to the Lisu People.
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Pray
    • Prayer is a powerful weapon in the Christian's spiritual arsenal. God hears and answers prayer. Hudson Taylor once said: When we work, we work. When we pray God works. History belongs to the intercessors. Join in God's redemptive purposes and make an eternal impact through prayer.
    • Join an OMF prayer group
    • Start a missions prayer group through your church or among your friends
    • Go through one of OMF's 30 day prayer guides
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Pray
    • Read the newspaper with an eye for prayer
    • Go to a "prayer house"
    • Stadium prayer events
    • E-mail prayer chain
    • Sign up for OMF Prayer Powerlines e-mail or bulletin
    • Sign up for OMF Global Chinese Ministries prayer bulletin
    • Participate in an online virtual prayer journey
    • Get Operation World and pray.
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Mobilize
    • "Someone must sound the rallying call.. Mobilizers stir other Christians to active concern for reaching the world. They coordinate efforts between senders, the local churches, sending agencies and missionaries on the field. Mobilizers are essential."
    • -Phil Parshall, Missionary, Author, and Mobilizer.
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Mobilize
    • Before one becomes a missionary, or a sender, or a welcomer, or even a missions prayer partner, he or she must be mobilized. They must be educated, made aware, motivated and moved to the point of involvement.
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Mobilize
    • The church must be mobilized to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. The current status quo will not do. Some people-mobilizers-must light the fire and call God's people to action.
    • Organize a missions emphasis week at your church
    • Organize a missions emphasis week at your school
    • Organize a missions emphasis week among the Christian community (churches) near you.
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Mobilize
    • Set up a missions table at your church
    • Encourage your pastor to allow you to show videos related to missions in services
    • Organize a small group or Sunday School class with a missions focus
    • Join OMF or another mission agency's mobilization team.
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Send
    • "And how can they preach unless they are sent?"
    • Romans 10:15
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Send
    • Missionaries haven't just gone, they've been sent. They've been supported and encouraged by God's people.
    • Some sobering statistics from the Traveling Team, a US based missions mobilization ministry, demonstrate this:
    • In the US, 95% of church offerings go to home-based ministry; 4.5% go to cross-cultural work among already-reached people groups; 0.5% go to work among unreached people groups.
    • The global church's income is $12.3 trillion. Only one percent of that goes to work among the unevangelized.
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Send
    • Some people think you have to be rich to be a sender. This is not true. In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul commends the Macedonian church for its generous giving, in spite of persecution and meager resources: "Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity... they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability." Sometimes it is those with the least who give the most. I am often surprised at who financially support us and how much they give. Some of the best givers are those who don't seem to have much to give.
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Send
    • Sending is not all about money. Sending is about enabling "goers" to go and serve effectively. Sending can be a creative avenue to missions involvement for example:
    • Financially support a missionary
    • Financially support a project in the mission field.
    • Support communication projects of mission agencies
    • Donate frequent flyer miles to a missionary needing to travel
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Send
    • Offer a place for missionaries to store their possessions while on the field.
    • Offer a car for missionaries to use while on furlough
    • Offer a home/apartment for missionaries to use while on furlough.
    • Offer a vacation spot (beach house, chalet, etc) for missionaries on furlough.
    • Write letters to encourage missionaries on the field.
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Welcome
    • "You are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt."
    • Deuteronomy 10:19
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Welcome
    • Today, on average, 22 million internationals visit the US each year. In many ways, the world is coming to us. The presence of internationals in our communities is a golden opportunity to share the gospel and show the love of Christ. Someone from an "unreached" people group may live next door.
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Welcome
    • More than 500,000 of the internationals in the US are students, usually graduate students who often become future leaders in their countries. Currently 40% of the world's 220 heads of state studied in America, including international figures such as former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former Mexican President Vicente Fox and Jordanian President King Abdullah II.
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Welcome
    • Ministry to internationals can make a strategic Christian impact on our world. As a senior Chinese official recently told a Western professional, "We are sending thousands of our best students overseas into your care. They are truly Chinese treasures!"
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Welcome
    • Living as a foreigner is often a difficult experience. Loneliness, culture shock and homesickness all can take a toll. Sadly, 80% of international students who come to America will never enter an American home (much less a Christian home). Show the love of Christ by welcoming them who are dearly loved by God.
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Welcome
    • Start an international student Bible study
    • Go to international holiday events to meet internationals (i.e. Chinese New Year, Japanese Spring Festival, Oktoberfest etc.)
    • Partner with organizational like ISI or ISC
    • Adopt an international friendship partner
    • Offer English classes for internationals through your church
    • Join one of OMF's ethnic ministry teams.
    • Go to ethnic restaurants (Mexican, Korean, Chinese, etc) and build friendships with the workers there.
    • Offer rides to Wal-Mart or the grocery store for internationals in your town.
    • Host an "Around Town" event for internationals who are new to your area. Show them different points of interest around town.
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Learn
    • "Learn all you can"
    • -President Thomas Jefferson to Meriweather Lewis before the Lewis-Clark Expedition n 1803.
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Learn
    • Of the six practices, "learning" undergirds them all. Each practice includes an element of learning. Learning involves the word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit. God desires to teach us His ways, He wants us to "learn" more about Him for the purpose of knowing and loving Him more deeply. Learning will include the use of many missions resources - books, web sites, videos etc. We are life-long learners. Use this knowledge to increase your knowledge and vision for the world.
  • The Six Practices of Missions – Learn
    • Read a missionary biography
    • Pay special attention to world news reports in the media, use as prayer information
    • Take a Perspective Course
    • Go to the library and check out books about countries of interest to you
    • Use the internet to explore different areas of the world.
    • Use missions resources like the China Resources Pack, Caleb Project also has many resources.
  • Now What?
    • "As a fire exist by burning, so the Church exists by mission, if there is no burning, there is no fire, if there is no mission, there is no Church"
    • -Emil Brunner, Swiss Theologian
    • "One life to live, 'Twill soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last".
  • Now What?
    • Where do you fit? How has your heart been stirred? Remember - no practice is more "spiritual" than another. Which one do you feel called to? You may be called to send and pray. Maybe you're called to welcome and mobilize. Or to go. During different phases in your life, it's possible that you'll be involved in all of these at some point.
    • Whatever the case, God is with us and He's given us an incredible vision to pursue - a people from every tribe, tongue and nation in worship before Him (Rev 7:9). May we serve the Lord faithfully.. until every nation knows.
    • I am only one,
    • But still I am one
    • I cannot do everything
    • But still I can do something
    • And because I cannot do everything
    • I will not refuse to do the something
    • that I can do Edward Everett Hale
    • I started by asking God to help me do the work.
    • Later I asked God if I might help Him do the work.
    • Finally I asked Him to do His work through me.
    • - Hudson Taylor:
    • (founder of the Inland China Mission)
    • "And the gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."
    • Matthew 24:14