When everything is missions, nothing is missions

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Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Five Reasons Missional Churches Don't Do Global Missions-- and How to Fix It - EdStetzer.com


For all their talk of being "missional" many churches ar not being missionary-minded to the nations.


This brings up a comment I would like to post:


Many churches say that they must engage in their own Jeruslams, Judeas, Samarias before (as a prerequisite) they should engage in the Uttermost Parts of the Earth - but this conclusion cannot be drawn from the NT. This whole "Focus on your own Jerusalem first" is not the principle to be drawn from the NT text. Our focus must be outward and towards the nations. In efforts at engaging our Jerusalems, we cannot lose focus on the outward focus of the book of Acts.
 

steadfast7

Puritan Board Junior
I recently watched Voddie Baucham speak on missions and he said that the reference to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth do not refer to our perspective (ie. our neighbourhoods, states, neighbouring countries, and foreign countries) but to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria literally. In other words, he was saying that a place like the US (from a literal understanding of the disciples perspective in Acts) is considered one of the farthest ends of the earth. not that we shouldn't continue to venture farther, but it's an interesting way to look at things.

here's the link, have a listen: Voddie Baucham - Our Perspectives on Missions | Sugar Creek Baptist Church

The message was good and powerful What do you think?
 

Timothy William

Puritan Board Junior
Points 3 and 4 from Pergamum's link may hold the key. Doing actual evangelism to unbelievers is difficult, whether it is done to one's neighbours or to those in a foreign country. Doing some sort of outreach whereby we talk to our neighbours about the church or serve their earthly needs or invite them to come to our church instead of some other church can be much easier. But a missionary cannot build a new church in a foreign country with few or no Christians by these methods, it requires the hard task of actual evangelism. Perhaps there is a progression here: 1) general outreach to our own communities. 2) Specific evangelism to the lost in our communities. 3) Evangelism to the lost in other communities - that is, missions. The main stumbling point is between 1) and 2).
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Pergamum
Many churches say that they must engage in their own Jeruslams, Judeas, Samarias before (as a prerequisite) they should engage in the Uttermost Parts of the Earth - but this conclusion cannot be drawn from the NT. This whole "Focus on your own Jerusalem first" is not the principle to be drawn from the NT text. Our focus must be outward and towards the nations. In efforts at engaging our Jerusalems, we cannot lose focus on the outward focus of the book of Acts.

There are a lot of ideas out there about "missions."

I think reformed theology gives us more of a handle on this by first acknowledging that every person is, in a sense, a "missionary." The comment of Martin Luther comes to mind when a shoe maker had been converted by Christ and asked Mr. Luther, "What now must I do?" The anticipated sense was that he would leave and go off somewhere in Christian work.

Mr. Luther replied, "Be a better shoe maker." All-of-life discipleship puts this in perspective.

But then, you rightly point out our focus must be outward.

So it begins with self, family, community, world. It goes all the way, every day.

While many of us do not providentially have circumstances to go to unreached people groups far away (but can engage unbelievers next door), we can get behind and support people like you who are going, for the Honor and Glory of our God.

We can also support evangelism and discipleship through local churches that take hold among unreached people groups, and that also is what we are called to do- every one of us.
 

steadfast7

Puritan Board Junior
Pergamum
Many churches say that they must engage in their own Jeruslams, Judeas, Samarias before (as a prerequisite) they should engage in the Uttermost Parts of the Earth - but this conclusion cannot be drawn from the NT. This whole "Focus on your own Jerusalem first" is not the principle to be drawn from the NT text. Our focus must be outward and towards the nations. In efforts at engaging our Jerusalems, we cannot lose focus on the outward focus of the book of Acts.

There are a lot of ideas out there about "missions."

I think reformed theology gives us more of a handle on this by first acknowledging that every person is, in a sense, a "missionary." The comment of Martin Luther comes to mind when a shoe maker had been converted by Christ and asked Mr. Luther, "What now must I do?" The anticipated sense was that he would leave and go off somewhere in Christian work.

Mr. Luther replied, "Be a better shoe maker." All-of-life discipleship puts this in perspective.

But then, you rightly point out our focus must be outward.

So it begins with self, family, community, world. It goes all the way, every day.

We can also support evangelism and discipleship through local churches that take hold among unreached people groups, and that also is what we are called to do- every one of us.

I think this touches on the very problem that Perg is addressing in this thread. Once missions becomes everything, then the meaning is lost. The original meaning of "mission" comes from the latin meaning to send - it didn't show up till much later in church history, but the biblical equivalent would have been apostello, to send.

Yes, in a sense, everyone is a missionary in their own present context, but we should also give honour where it is due and the title primarily belongs to those to are sent out to preach and evangelize cross culturally.

You wrote,
While many of us do not providentially have circumstances to go to unreached people groups far away (but can engage unbelievers next door), we can get behind and support people like you who are going, for the Honor and Glory of our God.

I'm curious what you mean by being providentially unable to go to unreached people groups ... Do you mean because of young children, education, health, calling, finances, etc? This may be a little bold, but I would argue that none of these factors are themselves providential signs of anything. Every missionary has had some combination of these providential hurdles that may have suggested that cross cultural work was not for them, but difficulty in itself does not mean we should not embark on something.
 
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