Supporting the idea of missions and individual missionaries is important because it is God’s plan in this world to establish new churches and bring new believers to Christ through the work of missions. When we think of missionaries and mission movements we often think of foreign works; however, missions is something that can be done in your own home town. Maybe the purpose of missions is needed in your own house to bring your family to Christ.
Here are some thoughts on why we should support missions.
Early Church – Our Example
When Christ was ascending into Heaven after His resurrection from the grave, He told the crowd standing around that they should tarry in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came to indwell them (Acts 1:8). After they had received the filling of the Holy Spirit (whom Jesus had promised would be a comforter to them in John 14), they were to spread out in the area and around the world carrying the Gospel to those who had not heard.
It was a direct command from Jesus for the early church to carry the good news to other places. New churches were established in the region and beyond by these early believers.
Missionaries Are Dependent On Churches
We often think of the financial dependence a missionary has on a church, but there is much more to it than that. Paul often talked about the church praying for missionaries so that the missionary could accomplish his work. In 2 Thessalonians 3 Paul says that the church should pray for the missionaries so that God’s Word would be effective and glorified in the lives of the believers. He also said that the missionaries needed protection from the world and from wicked men. Paul implied that without the prayers of the churches he and his missionary team could not do the work God called them to do.
Missionaries Work On Behalf Of Their Supporters
In the book of Philippians the great missionary Paul wrote to the church in that city to thank them for their support for his ministry. In chapter four of the book Paul told the church that he knew that it was God who took care of him. Yet, God used the people in Philippi to be the agents of that provision. Paul thanked them for their part in the ministry. At the end of his letter he made sure the people understood he was not thanking them because he wanted them to give him more things. He already acknowledged that God would give him everything he needed, either with, or without the help of the church in Philippi. Because of the gifts of the Philippian believers, Paul said that God would put the fruit of his own ministry to the account of the church in Philippi (v. 17).
People Need To Hear The Gospel
God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). His plan is that those who already know the Gospel share it with those around them. God could have chosen any means to propagate the story of redemption; however, He chose current believers to be the ones who shared Christ’s love with others.
An individual can only do so much for spreading the Gospel in the world. Yet, through a church mission program we are privileged to pool our resources to help fund the spread of the Gospel throughout the world.
God wants the world to know about Christ. He has chosen us as individuals and as churches to share that Gospel with others.
Jesus Requested Prayer For The Laborers
When Jesus was talking with His disciples one day He looked up at the crowd of people. Jesus could see a great harvest of souls. He knew that there were many people who were ready to hear and receive the Gospel. In Matthew 9:38 Jesus said that we should pray for the laborers to carry the Gospel to the harvest field. The harvest is plenteous. The work to be done is tremendously large. What is necessary are the people to go out and do the work. Jesus said that we should pray that the laborers would step up to the task and accept the challenge of carrying the Gospel to the people.
We Are Commanded To Go
Some of the last words of Christ before He ascended to heaven was that we should go and carry His Word to the world. In Matthew 28:19 and 20 Jesus said to go into the whole world with the Gospel, teach the hearers and baptize believers.
Interestingly, the command in those verses (according to Greek scholars) is not emphasized in the word “go,” rather it is on the word “teach.” The verse reads more like this in the Greek, “As you are going, teach…” It is implied that we will go into the world. Jesus knew the persecution that would soon come to the church in Jerusalem. He knew the believers were about to be scattered in the world. He knew they would “go.” He emphasized the fact that since they are going, they should teach what they knew about Christ.
Isn’t that even more true about us today? Just a couple of generations ago people were born, lived, worked and died in the same town or close to the same area. Today the world is such a mobile place. We don’t need to be told to go. We are going. What we need to do now is teach what we know about the Lord.
Who Will Go? Who Will Send?
Paul wrote in Romans 10 that preachers were needed to carry the Gospel. Who will go to preach? Obviously those who are called to the ministry should be the ones preaching. Then Paul follows up the question of “who will preach” by asking “who will send them?” The church and current believers have the responsibility to support those who are going into the world with the precious Gospel of Jesus Christ.
What will your part in missions be? We should all be sharing the Gospel with those around us. But, does God want you to be more involved by committing to full-time ministry? Even if you are not called to be a missionary on a foreign field, you can help the cause of missions by supporting missions in your local church. This support can come by way of prayer, finances, or time and labor for the work of the ministry.
If you liked this article, take a look at this related Missions article:
The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)