by Matthew Ellison
God is doing a new thing in local churches across America and around the world. For a long time many churches have primarily engaged in world missions in a support role, limiting their participation to sending money and people through mission organizations. As a result, missions was often relegated to a few missions minded folks in or outside the church. But now, church leaders everywhere are rediscovering the ultimate purpose of the church and are therefore making the Great Commission the centerpiece of their church’s calling under God’s glory. Church-wide involvement in missions is now being favored over independent activity; opportunities now abound for Every Believer to be unleashedto help fulfill the Great Commission, rather than just the missionary.
Every Believershould be engaged in world missions because our God is without a doubt, a missionary God. From cover to cover, God’s amazing plan to make His glory known among all nations, tribes and tongues is clearly enunciated in Scripture. Missions is unmistakably central to God’s thinking and activity. Therefore, if we want to be like God, we must not marginalize that which is central to Him. This doesn’t mean that we are all called to go, but it does mean we all have the incredible privilege of participation. Oswald Chambers says it well, “The special person called to do missionary work is every person who is a member of the church of Christ. The call does not come to a chosen few; it is to every one of us.”
Every Believer should be engaged in world missions because reaching all people groups with the gospel is a complex process that calls for the gifts and contributions of Every Believer. Imagine a businessman, a homebuilder, an engineer, a schoolteacher all working together to plant churches among an out-of-reach people group at the ends of the earth. Most folks will not leave home permanently to minister on the mission field. If they are to participate in world missions, they must be released where they are, in the context of their local church.
Every Believershould be engaged in world missions because God is more glorified when His people work together to fulfill His purposes than when they don’t (John 17:20-23). Moreover, when God’s people participate together in a cause that is bigger than themselves and bigger than their own interests an amazing bond of fellowship takes place between them (Philippians 1:3-5). Dr. Allan Fromme once said
“People have been known to achieve more as a result of working with others than against them.”
A church that unifies around a vision to make Christ known where He is not known, mobilizing Every Believer to meaningfully participate, is a church that will have the smile and blessing of the Father. Part of that blessing is a rare and sweet camaraderie with other believers that results from co-laboring in the greatest cause ever (Psalm 133).
Every Believer can be engaged in world missions. George Miley, in his book, Loving the Church, Blessing the Nations writes, “…reaching unreached peoples is a complex process. It calls forth every gift. It woos the contribution of Every Believer…Visualize an overall process of initiation, strategy development, implementation, management, pastoral, support, and funding, and you will begin to see a wide range of roles, each of which is a channel for involvement.”
No matter what you do or how you are gifted, you have an important role to play in fulfilling the Great Commission. Whether you are a kid, or a senior citizen, or a businessman, or a mother, or an investor…whether you are gifted to teach, or administrate, or pastor, or show mercy, or heal, or help, or serve… there is a place for you to meaningfully engage in world missions.
In closing, I offer one final thought from George Miley, “During the reformation of the church, the reformers wanted to make the Word of God accessible to Every Believer. Now we live in a time when God’s leaders recognize that we must make the workof God accessible to Every Believer.“ The work of world missions is increasingly becoming accessible to Every Believer. You should and can be engaged in the imminent completion of the greatest work in the universe, namely, populating heaven with worshipers from all nations, tribes, and tongues. Have you been unleashed? If not, what are you waiting for? God’s work of world missions is for Every Believer.
For more information on how 16:15 can help your church unleash every believer to reach the nations, call to talk with a Church Coach at 505-248-1615 or email firstname.lastname@example.org