Recently, I was asked, why as a church do we not do more local missions. I must say this question has caused many emotions to run through my head. The context of this question arose because I and another person from our church just returned from a 16 day trip to India and Thailand. Also, we have communicated quite a bit about others in our church who will be traveling to Lebanon and Poland this summer in order to help encourage local churches and share the gospel. I imagine the person who asked this question feels as through all our efforts are going to the global church and very little effort is being spent local. Below our 6 conclusions I came up with based upon this questions.
- We probably need to do a better job communicating ways that we are serving locally. For example we regularly support the local crisis pregnancy center. We also are currently gathering backpack supplies so when schools resumes in August we can provide them to families who have financial needs. We also are regularly sending volunteers to help serve at a local soup kitchen. We also encourage our table groups to regularly pray for unbelievers and to serve them and share the gospel with them.
- We also could probably improve on encouraging our people to discover new ways that we as a church can serve locally.
- However, we must not be dependent upon the local church to provide every avenue for local ministry. Every single believer is a missionary. Therefore, wherever a believer is, the Spirit is with them so they would share the gospel. Our houses are incredible places of ministry where we can invite co-worker and neighbors into so we can share God’s love with them. Here in America we have incredible freedom to share the gospel. The unfortunate truth is that so many people are more fearful of man than they are of God and thus they do not evangelize.
- We must realize that in other parts of the world the church does not enjoy the freedoms that we have. For example, in certain parts of India, China, Laos, and North Korea christians are regularly persecuted. They need believers to come and encourage them to stand firm in the gospel.
- We are also commanded to go into all the world and proclaim the greatness of our God (Psalm 96, Psalm 67, Matt 28). If we don’t go then we would be disobedient.
- We know Jesus will not return until His gospel has gone into all parts of the world (Mark 13:10). If we truly desire for Jesus to return then we must go to the nations. It is out of our love for Jesus and longing to be with Him that run to the nations proclaiming the gospel knowing that He will save all whom He has chosen.
I find that when Christians are actively sharing the gospel locally they are excited about what God is doing globally. They even want to be more apart of missions in other parts of the world. However, often when Christians are not actively sharing locally they become skeptical of the need to be actively global in missions.