Pastor’s Friday Comments (11/15/19)

We are currently collecting our Global Missions Offering. The goal is $20,000 and the money will be divided among Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Global Missions (60%), Kristy Engel, our member and International Ministries global missionary (30%), and our Bolivia partnership (10%).

They are all worthy causes, will use the money well, and deserve more than we will be giving them, whatever the final amount turns out to be. But there are other reasons that you should give generously to this annual campaign.

There was a time within the memory of many of us when missionaries were primarily evangelists – preachers (and sometimes doctors) who went to lands that seemed strange and distant and told people about Jesus. In many cases they were among the first to introduce the gospel to entire people groups. Today, of course, owing to modern telecommunications and the digital shrinking of the globe, there is almost no one left who hasn’t heard at least the rudiments of the story of Jesus and its relationship to God’s love for everyone in the world.

Today our missionaries are still intent on helping people to understand the love of God, but the approach, at least as I can discern it, is radically different. Committed Christians are using their skills, which cover a wide range of disciplines, as ways of entering into the lives of people who need Christ. They are, to use a phrase that we have adopted for all our ministries, seeking to help without hurting. They are not trying to impose a Western way of doing anything; they are not attempting to solve the ills of others through superior knowledge or resources. They are getting to know people, helping them to ascertain their own assets, and, through partnerships that utilize combined skills of missionaries and indigenous people, seeking to make the world a better place. And they are intent on making sure that people understand that their work and their commitment are not based solely on their own good intentions, but are born out of their love for Christ and their commitment to the Great Commission.

Modern missions is radically different from the days when we held up Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong, missionaries of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as examples. They may still be saints, but we can’t copy their methods and hope to be effective today. But CBF, Kristy Engel, our Bolivian partners at House of Hope, and the many others with whom we engage in missions are dedicated to being the servants that God needs in this day and this age. 

And at least one of the things that has remained true throughout the modern missionary movement is that, if missionaries are to be effective, they need the support of Christians and of churches like ours. They need our prayers. They need our encouragement and interest. And they need our money. During the Christmas Season you’re probably going to be giving a lot of gifts. And some of them may go unappreciated or underused. Neither of those things will be true of a gift you make to our Global Missions Offering. Give soon – and give a lot!