I’d like to challenge churches:
STOP SENDING MISSIONARIES TO OTHER NATIONS UNTIL THOSE MISSIONARIES HAVE FIRST BEEN MAKING DISCIPLES OF OTHER NATIONS HERE!
I’ve been thinking about missionaries lately.
Every Christian is a missionary – sent by Jesus with the message of the cross in community with other Christians to those in the cultures around them.
Every Christian needs to align their life with Jesus’ mission. There is one mission that every Christian can embrace and that’s to join Jesus’ in His redemptive mission.
Jesus said: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.”
Every Christian needs to follow Jesus and make disciples.
Simply understood: Our mission is to disciple the nations!
On the street we used to live on in California there were people from a variety of nations: Korea, England, Israel, and Peru. On our street here in Washington we’ve met people from Canada, Israel, China, and Korea.
It’s so amazing how the nations are among us. You can travel across borders to disciple people from other nations. Yet you can also travel across the street to disciple people from other nations.
The problem is that most of us don’t do it. We may be willing to travel long distances on a short-term mission trip to “reach people” in another nation. Yet we aren’t willing to travel short distances on a long-term mission trip to “disciple” the nations in our neighborhoods. Why is this?
I think I’ve failed to understand that the mission isn’t to “go” – the mission is to “make disciples.”
Going is often the easy part. Making disciples takes intentional effort.
What if we only sent people across borders who were already effective at making disciples of all nations here at home? What if churches started getting serious about equipping every believer to live on mission here and to make disciples here before they would send anyone anywhere else?
What if we stopped sending missionaries to other nations until those missionaries were first making disciples of other nations here in America?
As Dick Hillis has said, “Every heart with Christ, a missionary; every heart without Christ, a mission field.”
Look around you! Where are there people near you from another nation? How will you begin to disciple them?