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This post was written by Tee Akindele on July 10, 2010
Posted Under: Everyday Christian,ministry

A Global-Scope for Christians

I remember reading an article as a teenager years ago, from an old magazine (actually published by Billy Graham in the ’80s) I found at home then. I don’t quite remember most of the content but I remember the title was something about: “Becoming a world Christian”. I have a suspicion that something was imparted in my heart from its message back then, that was going to inspire my interests in World Missions and International Christian work years later.

I began to be more aware of Christian missions, and took interest in existing information resources linked to missionary work, only a few years back. I came across Operation World in 2006 while working on a web development project for World Missions Support Fellowship, this was my first exposure to missionary information resources and networks. As at 2008, I had come across many other resource ministries and networks including Joshua Project, Lausanne World pulse, International Christian Concern to name a few, more recently I came across Strategic Network, it has proved very useful also.

Along the line, Good books also played a part in my exposure  to a world outside mine, that needed Jesus just as much. I remember my fascination one time, with books about Islam and the religious perspectives of Muslims, mostly written by former Muslims who had received Jesus, in my quest to be able to more effectively witness to my Muslim friends.

I think many Christians and churches assume about and underestimate their lack of adequate knowledge about the world and missions, and invariably of the moves of God in our generation and amongst the nations, including the evil in such lack of awareness.

I came to be of the opinion that making missiological information as accessible as possible (physically and contextually) to local churches and the common Christian may be necessary, if not vital, in committing and involving every church and believer in the commission of taking the gospel to every people of our communities and the World at Large.

Our Mandate; The Mandate of evangelism has always had a world scope

Unfortunately, today it is very common for believers to imagine that missions or global evangelism is another person’s responsibility; or to feel even if they wanted to do something that there was hardly anything tangible they could personally do. Most of our local church boards or leadership are also made up of men who feel the same way, and so we have a chain reaction – or say, chain inaction.

In Acts 1:8, Luke records Jesus’ instruction to his disciples:

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

It didn’t seem to matter to Jesus that most of this men he was going to commission as international emissaries, had never traveled; knew no geography; were uneducated, unsophisticated and very poor, all that seemed to matter was that they received The Power first. It’s the baptism of the Holy Spirit that authorizes or authenticates us to be witnesses. And we all had to be baptized in that one spirit, not just the Apostles. Also, the Apostles couldn’t possibly have gone to the uttermost part of the earth, in their life time. It’s hardly 200 years since the gospel got to a major part of Africa. So the point I’m trying to make here should be apparent now: the mandate was giving to the church for all ages, it must remain our priority now, or clearly something is misplaced.

As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. Acts 8:3-4

There’s another point here, Most of the spreading of the gospel outside Jerusalem, was not done by the apostles themselves, or by formally ordained ministers, but by believers scattered from Jerusalem, following survival instincts, from the perils of persecution and other necessities. But ordained, institutionalized or not, they were fulfilling the mandate. It makes me wonder where believers and many of our local churches today get the idea that evangelism of a global scope, has to or must be accomplished by or credited only to formally trained or sponsored personnel,  specially appointed, gifted and commissioned to travel, like Paul, Barnabas etc.

The mandate to go into all the world is clearly for every believer to identify with, for most of us it may not be about going out, as already several factors bring the world, even the uttermost part of the earth, closer than ever to us. The problem is usually in our lack of information or orientation about ways in which we can effectively participate. I have already shared links about a wealth of resources available online which helped me in my own exposure, they may be good places for you to start as well. This older article should be of help too: World Evangelism: Expanding opportunities for the everyday Christian to get involved. You never can tell what ideas will occur to you about what you can do.

Intelligent participation

Expanding our scope as Christians or as a local church will let us know the urgency, the great need and the numerous opportunities that we thought were too far away, or we were altogether oblivious to, and how we can make a world of difference and make well informed and intelligent channeling of our prayers, time and resources.

Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. Joh 4:35

Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few. Mt 9:37

I have compiled some analysis and even more helpful details for my next post make sure you don’t miss it.

The Mission is possible!

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