Summary: Missions is the heartbeat of Christianity. Yet, where do missions begin?
And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits. 7
He commanded them to take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bag, no bread, no copper in their money belts— but to wear sandals, and not to put on two tunics. 8-9
Also He said to them, “In whatever place you enter a house, stay there till you depart from that place.
And whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet as a testimony against them. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!” 10-11
So they went out and preached that people should repent. And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.12-13
Missions, to many people, is what we do “over there” in some foreign country. The truth is we should be doing missions in our own backyard. It’s a shame that we go off to another city, state or country to “do” missions because the lost need to hear the Word. Listen to what Ed Stetzer says about that.
“Many church leaders, however, see evangelism as “something that takes place near us, while missions takes place overseas,” Ed Stetzer and David Putman write. “Our paganized, secularized, spiritualized North American culture should be seen as a mission field.” “The missionary studies the culture, looking for the ways God is already revealing Himself to the people,” the authors recount. “When that ‘bridge’ is found, the missionary can express the eternal truth of the Gospel in a way that is indigenous to the culture. People respond with joy and the Gospel spreads like wildfire through the network of their relationships.” A “missional” church, then, is one that acts like a missionary in its community.” Quoted from “Breaking the Missional Code sees churches as ’missionaries’” written by Mark Kelly (Oct 11, 2006 BP)
Introduction – Missions Motives with Hudson Taylor
When Hudson Taylor was director of the China Inland Mission, he often interviewed candidates for the mission field. On one occasion, he met with a group of applicants to determine their motivations for service. "And why do you wish to go as a foreign missionary?" he asked one. "I want to go because Christ has commanded us to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature," was the reply. Another said, "I want to go because millions are perishing without Christ." Others gave different answers. Then Hudson Taylor said, "All of these motives, however good, will fail you in times of testings, trials, tribulations, and possible death. There is but one motive that will sustain you in trial and testing; namely, the love of Christ." Source Unknown.
We are in a mission field. Jesus modeled how we are to love others. That makes Him our teacher and…
Their TEACHER 7
Jesus is our teacher. We find in Him the great qualities of a teacher. A great teacher is patient, persistent, perceptive and practical. He finds the best in people and draws it out of them. A great teacher will Challenge us, Cheer us onward and of course, Confronts us when we need it!
Secondly, the Word is our guide. It directs us in the way we behave, believe and battle. We are to aspire to godly behavior. We are to believe what our teacher has entrusted us with. And our battle is not with flesh and blood but the spiritual world.
Then, the Spirit is our supplier. He gives us everything we need. Our need is to faithfully request the supplies we seek. He does all the rest.
Finally, the World is our field. A sign at the exit at the Glorieta Conference Center in New Mexico states, “You are now entering your mission field.” And we have a huge mission field in front of us! Remember that He supllies all our needs.
Illustration – Teacher and boots
It seems that one day a kindergarten teacher was helping one of her students put on his cowboy boots. He asked for help and she could see why. Even with her pulling and him pushing, the little boots still didn’t want to go on. Finally, when the second boot was on, she had worked up a sweat. She almost cried when the little boy said, "Teacher, they’re on the wrong feet." She looked down and sure enough, they were. It wasn’t any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. But she managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on - this time on the right feet. And it was only then that he announced, "These aren’t my boots." She bit her tongue rather than scream, "Why didn’t you say so?" like she wanted to. And, once again she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off his little feet. No sooner had they got the boots off then he said, "They’re my brother’s boots. My Mom made me wear ’em today." Stifling a scream, she mustered up the grace and courage she had left to wrestle the ill-fitting boots on his feet again. Helping him into his coat, she asked, "Now, where are your mittens?" To which he replied, "I stuffed ’em in the toes of my boots." The article ends by saying - Her trial starts next month.