"And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation." Mark 16:15
There is a lot of talk about missions, foreign missions specifically. There are people for it. There are people against it.
As our church is about to send a team of missionaries to Haiti, I am reminded that we are all called to spread the gospel.
At our church, there is a sign above the door. As you exit through that door, you read, “You are now entering your mission field.” That is our reminder that we are not to leave the story of Jesus at the church door. We are to take him with us wherever we go.
One of the things I distinctively remember is a comment made by someone when the church was contemplating expanding the building. The comment went something like this, “I like my little church the way it is.”
Folks, that is frightening. What if everyone felt that way? We would cease to spread the love of Jesus to others. His kingdom would stop growing. How many of us would not know Jesus today if someone felt that their church was just fine the way it is?
I remember well a day many years ago, when I was invited to our church. Jeff and I were at his parent’s house. Mr. George Crabtree visited them. There we were painting the pool deck, and Mr. Crabtree invited us to church. Shortly after he left, the phone rang. It was my mom telling me that my grandfather had just passed away. Now, you may see no connection here. But for me, I see God coming into my life at this point. A man I didn’t know invited me to church. God calls my grandfather home. I didn’t know Christ as my savior. I see God working in all this. George is now our family’s deacon. I thank God each day that he invited us to church.
Then there is Wanda Hale. She is a retired teacher who was working in my school. She would rave about this interim preacher and tell about how the church wanted him to be their next preacher, and we really must come hear him preach one Sunday. She didn’t nag me about it. She invited me again and again. I thank God each day that she invited us to church.
There is this friend of mine from high school, Amy Jo, that went to church all the time. I didn’t. She had her Sunday school class pray for me. I was furious with her because I didn’t think there was anything wrong with me. There was. I was a sinner who didn’t have a relationship with Jesus. Years later, I sent this friend a letter telling her, “Thank you for praying for me.”
There are countless others that have shown me Jesus in one way or another. Holly invited us to revival. Glenda started a Sunday school class for young families just starting to get involved in church. There are those that have led Bible studies, said prayers, and offered words of encouragement. There are those Gideon’s who handed out tiny New Testaments in school and on the street corner at college. I am thankful for all of those people who were following their Christian calling:
"For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”" Romans 10:13-15
Those people were being missionaries in their own backyards. But I honestly believe in my heart that people are called to be missionaries in foreign lands. God’s word says, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."(Matthew 28:19) God has called people to be foreign missionaries to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Not all of us are called to do that. Some of us are called to teach Sunday school or lead Bible studies. Some of us are called to be worship leaders by singing or playing instruments. We are all called to do something. Somewhere.
It is so important that we support those who are called to be foreign missionaries. We can support them with money and prayer. God has called them according to His purpose.
If you are not called to be a foreign missionary, you can do so many things in your own community. Find a way to volunteer. Get involved with your church. Do something that is going to spread the love of Jesus.
If you don't support foreign missions, let me ask you this. What are you doing for local missions?
I would like for you to pray for our Haiti mission team. Each night at 8PM join in prayer with our church as we ask for their protection, guidance, and that soul's will be saved, lives will be changed.