Discoveries in Faith

Short, uplifting Bible lessons designed to build faith and inspire obedience. 

The De-Glamorization of Missions

For many people, the idea of taking a mission trip involves getting on an airplane and flying to an exotic place somewhere around the world. This is high adventure and quite romantic. Feel the excitement of carrying Jesus to a distant place! But is this really missions?

Going to the ends of the earth is certainly part of our missionary assignment. But the same Lord who said we are to go to all nations also said we are to go next door. 

"In Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" is what the Lord said. 

JD Payne, missiologist at the Church at Brook Hills, said if a Christian would go to all the cost, trouble, and danger of traveling to a faraway place to share Christ, but not share Christ in his own community it would be a case of "missional malignancy." Strong words! But perhaps necessary for those who have swallowed the romantic notion that missions is always "over there" and never "right here."

  • Missions is the Good Samaritan helping the man in the ditch.
  • Missions is Jesus taking time with children.
  • MIssions is Philip on a country road, talking to a stranger.

Jesus said, "Lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!"

So, by all means, keep buying those plane tickets. Go! Go! Go! Just remember missions is not a seven-day trip out of town, it is a lifefstyle lived 365 days a year.

 

3 Attitudes about Cross-Cultural Missions

There is a lot of talk to today about race relations. But the more I study people and history the more I realize things don't really change. Throughout ancient history there have always been conflicting opinions surrounding this volatile topic. In the first century, people in Palestine debated whether Jewish Christians and Gentiles Christians could co-mingle. Here are 3 attitudes from then, that are still with us today.

  1. Some people oppose cross-cultural missions. See Acts 11:1-3.
  2. Some people allow cross-cultural missions. See Acts 11:18.
  3. Some people encourage cross-cultural missions. See Acts 11:23

Thankfully, attitude number three prevailed in the church in Antioch. A multi-cultural, missionary church then changed the course of Christianity and the world (see Acts 13:1-3). Will you and your church be the next history changing congregation?

 

Multi-cultural or Cross-cultural?

What is more important: Multi-cultural worship or cross-cultural missions?

It is exciting when different people groups come together for worship. The diversity can be uplifting. It is exciting to see different kinds of people touched by God's love.

Unfortunately, building a multi-cultural church is not easy. Societal customs and language barriers may be difficult to overcome. People tend to be comfortable with their own kind and Sunday morning is still the most segregated hour in America. This is not good, but it is reality.

Well-meaning Chrisitans may debate the merits of a multi-cultural church; but, there is no question that God has called all churches to cross-cultural missions. In the Great Commission our Lord tells us to "go and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19)." This means that every obedient congregation has to figure out how to take the gospel to a people unlike their own. 

Too many churches are stuck in a pattern of only reaching their own kind of people. This is disobedience to the Great Commission. 

The Lord didn't say we had to change our church and make it multi-cultural; but, he did say we are to make disciples of all ethnic groups. This may involve  prayer-walking in a different neighborhood, starting a remote Bible study, sending out mission teams, or planting a new church. 

Multi-cultural worship is optional. Cross-cultural missions is not.