By Joel Iyorwa
Many Christians have at one point or the other heard a presentation about missions and have been challenged to ‘do something’. What is lacking in most cases, for most people is a practical guide on how to work through the various steps they must take to see themselves become fully engaged in God’s global Great Commission enterprise. I have heard lots of people ask “so what’s next?”, a question many have not heard a very helpful response and which has very sadly led to the loss of interest or rescinding of commitments.
In this article, I hope to lay out a few very simple but practical progress steps potential Message Bearers or anyone passionate about locating their niche in the Great Commission can follow in order to do so.
1. Be born again, and convinced of the call of God for eternal life, for you and for all men all over the world. (John 1:12, 3:3) This is the uncompromising basis and entry point into any kingdom labors. We must belong to Him before we can serve Him.
2. Be filled with the Spirit by receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, and prove it in your life of service to God wherever you are at the moment. (Acts 1:8, Judges 13:25). Serving God in the Great Commission will not come accidentally to anyone or happen in a vacuum, it must develop out of a history.
3. Develop a life of Abandoned Devotion to Jesus by cultivating a lifestyle of prayer, devotion to and in the Word of God as a matter of personal, spirit-led conviction, and life value. (Mark 16:20) Build a quiet, secret habit of dwelling in His presence, spending hours alone with God through prayer, word and fasting. Our fist calling is just to be with Jesus, not to do stuff for Him (Mark 3:14).
4. Identify missionaries, who they are, what they do, and where they are – then be involved in some form of engagement with them and their work. This may be either in the form of prayer, financial support, connecting with them by visitation or correspondence or welcoming (hosting). Be an Onesiphorus (II Tim 1:16-17)
5. Identify some people groups at home or in a foreign country that do not have access to the gospel (unreached or unengaged) – then begin to pray for them, visit them in their locations where possible, and seek ways of drawing the attention of other believers too to this group of unreached people to pray or give or go. (John 10:16, II Cor. 10:16)
6. Learn more about missions, from books and from people, and put to practice what you have learnt. Read biographies of Missionaries and pioneering cross-cultural ministry among the unreached. Such as Hudson Taylor, John G Paton, etc and be inspired by the godly example of these fellow Christians (1 Cor. 11:1)
7. Live sacrificially as best as you can and give for/to Missions and to missionaries in a regular commitment. Anyone who believes a cause is known by his prayer commitment and his giving. (Acts 10:2, Matt. 6:21)
8. Mobilize the Church for Missions, making others know that this is God’s last agenda before Christ returns to the earth. (Matt. 24:14, Luke 10:2). Get as many people as you can involved in one way or another in God’s global agenda.
9. Develop and sustain a global Vision. A spiritual man sees the world; a carnal man sees only his tribe, or country, or locality. Go beyond borders, and take the world. Remember you have been called to be a global Christian (Matt. 5:14-16, Mk. 16:15). Don’t just be absorbed in events and issues in your own nation; enlarge your vision and your heart.
10. If you sense the call, answer it, go for training, get equipped in some way for cross-cultural ministry. Be quick in responding to the call; don’t think it over until you die thinking. (Acts 26;19, Gal. 1:16). “If God has called you to be a missionary, don’t stoop to be a king”
Examine yourself, which point of the missions ladder are you on now? God could do without any of us, yet He wants to build His kingdom in this world in partnership with us, he calls us to participate with Him in gathering the nations back to Him. What a tremendous honor and privilege to be co-laborers with Him.