I have preached at churches across North America and I have discovered that passion for missions has greatly declined in the past 20 years. While some churches are still excited about spreading the gospel in foreign nations, other churches are focused only on reaching their own neighborhoods.
While it is important to reach our hometowns, I have discovered that "the light that shines farthest shines brightest near at home."
Here are some different levels of missions involvement that I have witnessed in different churches. Where does your church fit into this missions diagnostic test?
1. No missions heart. This church has little exposure to missionaries. Does not support any missionaries or give any platform time to talking about missions.
2. Invites a missionary to speak at least once each year. Sends an occasional offering to missionaries.
3. Has adopted one or more missionaries and supports them on a monthly basis. Talks about the Great Commission from the platform. Exposes people to missions literature through a missions bulletin board, map, or mission table. Pastor may go on an occasional short-term mission trip.
4. One Sunday each month is Missions Sunday. Receives a monthly offering for missions. Regularly invites missionaries to share updates by video or in person at church Bible studies and/or on the platform. Provides at least one opportunity for people in the church to go on a short-term mission trip each year.
5. Church has adopted multiple missionaries and develops long-term relationships with them. Regularly prays for missionaries. Provides multiple opportunities throughout the year for church businessmen, staff, and young people to go on short-term trips. Has a yearly missions conference.
6. Church has a Bible school that trains people to be missionaries. Church trains, sends out, and supports multiple full-time missionaries. A significant percentage (5%-15%) of the church budget is devoted to missions. Church may have adopted a particular nation or people group to focus efforts on.
7. Church has a worldwide Apostolic vision for growing the body of Christ. Church reproduces itself on multiple continents by planting Bible schools and churches. This church speaks mission vision to the body of Christ and develops strategy for world evangelism.
The goal of the local church should be missions and the goal of missions should be building the local church. Where does your church fit on the scale of missions minded churches? How can your church move up a level? Is fulfilling the Great Commission part of your ambition?
Daniel King is a missionary evangelist who has preached the gospel in over sixty nations. He has led over one million people to Jesus in the past ten years. His book, Soul Winning: Inspiration for Leading People to Jesus, is full of quotes that will inspire your church to be involved in missions. Daniel and his wife Jessica live in Tulsa, Oklahoma. To connect with Daniel visit: www.kingministries.com.
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