Every year in the month of August, we dedicate our pulpit ministry’s topics to one of our core values ie church missions. BC’s founding verse in her existing missions policy is:
“enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes….you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess the nations and settle in their desolate cities” – Isa 54:2,3
Our current missions policy was updated since Sep 2001. And we are currently revising and updating it again, after 12 years. And as we do that, we are revisiting some of the values, objectives, ethos and guidelines, may I ask that the congregation to remember the church council in prayer.
Are all Christians called to be missionary or are they restricted to a few selected few? A Christian missionary is commissioned by the Lord to make disciples, followers of Christ. Jesus commands all Christians to share the Gospel, the message of His death and resurrection that conquered the penalty and power of sin.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).
The aged old picture of a missionary is that of a “ middle-aged person who leaves his/her job in the home country to evangelize and plant churches cross culturally” But this a simplistic view. By the name of today’s topic as printed in last week Newsline, “God has called Us to be His Missionaries”, we know that we all sitting here this morning, will be included in the definition of a missionary.
What does a Christian missionary do? A Christian missionary proclaims Jesus as Savior and Lord. Whom do they tell? Jesus made it clear that Christians are to reach out to “all the nations” (Matthew 28:19), especially those ethnic groups without a Gospel witness. Unreached people groups are still waiting for the way, truth, and life found in Christ (Romans 15:20). But Christians at home should be missionaries in their own communities, doing personal evangelism (Acts 1:8).
Missionaries do more than evangelism. The commission was to make disciples, not immature believers. Thus, a Christian missionary’s outreach involves evangelism, discipleship, and church planting. These main goals are accomplished in a variety of ways: sharing and preaching the Word, helping in church building, teaching English as some of you here already doing, relief projects occasionally up to Thailand, teaching at overseas seminaries, etc.
Missions is a key expression within this congregation. And we want to continue and expand the work of missions, just as the Lord has instructed in His Word. Every year, missions collection is about an average of 35% of our total revenue. And our expenditure is also back to back at the same level.
Just as we partner with our own church missionaries; full time Christians workers; adopted missionaries, more importantly, Will you be a Christian missionary?
Elder Andrew Lim