The Christian's Mission to the World
World evangelism encompasses a full spectrum of Christian ministries. It includes ministries such as overseeing the church nursery, teaching Sunday School as well as participating in "foreign missions." I Corinthians says no part of the body is greater than any other part. The same holds true for Christian ministries; No mission is greater than any other mission (although some tend to be neglected much more than others). It is important for each individual to be in the Lord’s will. No matter what ministry a person is in, if he is not where God wants him, he is out of "God’s will." It is good to do the Lord’s work, but it is even better to do His will.
There are no boundaries in world evangelism. No country or group of people is more precious than any other in the eyes of God. In the literal sense, we are all foreign missionaries because "this world is not our home." Heaven is our home and the whole world is a foreign land.
When seeking the Lord’s leading, a good rule of thumb is get involved with the people nearest you. A light that shines the farthest, shines the brightest at home. If you cannot be effective as a Christian witness here at home where you know the language and culture, you will not be effective in a land different from your own. You must first be a good steward of the opportunities God has given before He will entrust you with greater responsibilities. We should continually look for ways to expand our outreach and vision. It is easier for God to guide a Christian who is moving than to try to push a Christian who is standing still. A car is a good example of this. It can be guided and directed only while it is moving.
Do not limit yourself by setting boundaries. God sees no boundaries, and neither should we. The concept of "expansion evangelism" (or expansionism), was derived from Acts 1:8, "... and you shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in Judea, and in Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the Earth." Paraphrased for our individual lives this verse says, "You are to be my witness first in your hometown, then expand this witness to cover your state. Expand it further to cover the United States, and keep on spreading out until there are no more places to go." Obviously, you will never reach every place in the world. You may never leave your hometown. However, the influence of your life should be felt throughout the world.
For example, a person you have led to the Lord may be serving in Africa, plus you are supporting missionaries in Brazil, St. Louis and Canada. You are also praying specifically for several works all over the world. For expansion evangelism to work, God’s people must always be looking for new areas of service, although they are already involved in many Christian ministries. You should spend 80- 90% of your energy on your present Christian work, and the other 10- 20% "getting your feet wet" in new types of ministries. Continually try to expand your horizons. You will find that the Lord often "leads" this way.
As you expand your missionary outreach, you may find God leading you to a foreign land. Although foreign missionaries are desperately needed, special preparations should be taken and cautions considered.
Christians should never take a commitment to serve the Lord lightly. Before a person makes the decision of commitment, he should "count the cost" and determine if he is willing to pay the price. Although the rewards of serving the Lord are great, a person should go into this commitment with his eyes fully open to the problems and dangers.
Many Christian workers will testify the more involved you are in sharing Christ with others, the more Satan will try to destroy your life and testimony. Apart from the actual attacks of Satan, a foreign missionary faces the pressures of living in a foreign culture. The frustrations of having their lives turned completely upside down can put a great pressure on their marriage. Many normal methods of relaxation are impossible. Therefore, new ways of unwinding must be found. The Christian workers must work extra hard at keeping their emotional, spiritual and marital life fresh and vibrant.
These problems are by no means insurmountable, and many missionaries have been successful in adjusting. A person’s adjustment, though, depends largely on his spiritual, emotional and marital stability.
Another requirement of stewardship is the proper management of time and resources. Since many Christians will be sacrificing financially to help put you on a foreign field, it is important your life be usable and productive for God. If you are not already an effective Christian witness, you are not ready to go to a foreign field. Simply being a missionary does not automatically make you an effective Christian. In fact, being on a foreign field makes it even more difficult to share Christ. It is hard enough to share Christ when you understand the culture and the language. It is even more difficult when you live in a land that thinks and speaks differently.
In summary, there are three points that you should keep in mind. These points will not only help prepare you for missions, but will also help indicate your readiness for the foreign field.
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