(February 4, 2020) Dr George Forbes, missionary statesman, reminds us of Jesus’ ongoing challenge …
As I keep myself abreast of world of missions, missionaries and their activities – and follow world news reports, I’m reminded that the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) must be uppermost in our minds. That the theme of missions – sharing the gospel to the whole world – must never be forgotten or downgraded in our minds, nor in any church program.
In fact this vital charge given by the Lord Jesus to the early disciples was by extension to everyone who converts to Christ ie… to the church.
This means that every church member, every follower of Christ, has a responsibility to assist with this great task.
‘Missions’ is not only for…
- Those called to life service as missionaries (international workers are they now called)
- Church planting missionaries
- Bible teaching missionaries
- Linguists and –
- What’s been termed ‘Specialised Missionaries’.
Although much has been achieved by mission organisations and missions over the centuries, the reality is that there is still much to do! Yet the labourers – missionaries – are still too few and money for missions is too limited!
Advancing the kingdom in 2020
As a major task given to the church, missions – the Great Commission – must be fulfilled by the church. There is a role for every believer… although that may entail more than one first realises. In fact, the commission of Christ for us to go and make disciples of all nations calls for more than we can do or be by ourselves alone.
However our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ promised that he would be with us as we dedicated ourselves to this overwhelming task of a global harvest of people from every nation on earth! He sent the blessed Holy Spirit to assist us, to enable us fulfil the task.
Subsequently every follower of Christ needs to ask the Lord to show them how they can be involved in completing this great harvest work in the world.
Me, you… now!
That old catchcry of Missions Means Me may seem a simplistic statement, however the heart of God and the call of Christ is for people who will serve God in their generation. That means the like of you, the like of me, being active in our time, now in our generation!
Our loving God wants to use such willing disciples in advancing the kingdom of God.
Such harvest workers are –
- Blessed children of God.
- Committed servants of God.
- Probably single (A vast number are single women who are often unsung heroes).
- On the other hand often married, with children.
- People with skills and backgrounds that vary greatly, as does their ministry.
- Often men and women from country backgrounds with abilities suited to remote places.
- Needed to help build, tracks, even roads, huts, houses, churches and schools.
- Possibly professionals such as teachers, doctors, paramedics, and other skilled people.
- Not just witnesses overseas – but at home, helping advance their local church.
- As mentioned earlier, sadly few and existing on limited financial support!
I say this to our ‘at home’ churches: The variations among those who leave home to serve overseas are almost endless. Together, they all add value… making teams in country after country working to plant, strengthen and train so that the church of Jesus Christ will grow, expand and reproduce itself in nation after nation.
But there is a need… and not only for more workers!
There are costs involved in furthering the gospel overseas. There is the ongoing need of supporting missionaries abroad!
Our local churches giving must include taking up and transferring needed funds to missionaries overseas… men and women (with children at times) who have given up so much to train, learn languages and are prepared to forego many home comforts!
The often complex tasks in missionary ministry calls for resources, regular back-up of prayer and faithful financial support.
And… appropriate prayer and regular giving to missions is vital to this, the biggest business worldwide! (See my article World’s Biggest Business). We want every missionary to be a –
Dr George Forbes is internationally recognised as a missionary spokesperson with a heart for the lost of the nations. With a wealth of missionary knowledge and a unique ability to communicate the global picture, he is widely known as the ‘story-teller.’ (Editorial note: We ask readers to be praying for Dr Forbes as he is undergoes special medical treatment)