Several months ago I decided that this year we would set the month of October aside as a concentrated time of focusing on Missions. I wanted to use the morning services during the month to highlight people who are not familiar to us. I decided to use the evening services as an opportunity to invite some of the missionaries our church is currently supporting. I am thrilled to see the people God has provided for us this month, and I believe God is going to use the month of October in our church to remind us of the importance of Missions.
While planning for our Missions emphasis month I had four goals for us as a church. Allow me to take this opportunity to share these four goals with you.
My first goal was to use October as a time to teach and remind us of the reason we support Missions. I want to be sure that our church has a solid theological understanding of Missions. If we don’t understand why we support missionaries, we will inevitably lose passion for our Missions program.
Secondly, I wanted us to realize how big the need for Missions has become. Missionaries around the world are aging, and many of them are reaching their retirement years. Many of these men and women have been faithful servants of the Lord for decades. Some of our missionaries are facing serious health conditions, and yet they are pressing on in their service to the Lord. But many of our missionaries are nearing the end of their ministries. A new generation of missionaries is needed to fill the ministries that are being vacated. Additionally, there are still many fields around the world with limited gospel witness. The need is great, but the laborers are few. The need for missionaries is getting more urgent with each passing day.
In light of the second goal I have set for this month, I want us as individuals to develop a heart for Missions. We have seen God call many missionaries from our church over the last few months. My prayer is that we will see God call even more to the field. God will not call all of us to be vocational missionaries, but I pray that we will all take the next couple weeks to allow the Lord to direct our hearts. Even if God doesn’t call you to a foreign field, He has called you to the local Mission field that we interact with on a daily basis. As we studied in Psalm 63 earlier this month, we must have a heart for God if we are going to be faithful to His work.
My fourth and final goal for the month of October is that we will all increase our Missions involvement in some tangible way. I don’t want us to end our month of emphasizing Missions and fail to ask the Lord to impress upon our hearts how He would want us to change. Ask these questions and see how the Lord would direct your heart.
1. Am I willing to consistently pray for the missionaries that our ministry financially supports?
2. Am I willing to give financially to the Missions program at Grace Baptist Church so our missionaries can remain on the field?
3. Am I willing to follow the Lord into fulltime Missions? If yes, where?
If God has challenged your heart regarding praying for our missionaries, let me encourage you to get some of their prayer cards and commit to faithfully bring these families before God’s Throne of Grace. Those serving around the world on behalf of our church need our relentless prayer support. No matter your age or health, you can pray for our missionaries!
If God has challenged your heart to financially give more faithfully to our missionaries, I encourage you to dedicate an amount to give each month to our Missions program. As a church, our Missions support is not part of our yearly budget. We support our missionaries through giving that is above our normal monthly offerings. Perhaps you have not been supporting our Missions program and God has called you to start. Prayerfully dedicate an amount each month and give!
I know that number three is a life-changing decision that should never be made in haste or in emotion. If you sense God’s call to the Mission field I urge you to first seek the Lord’s direction through prayer. Next, seek the counsel of godly people before making a final decision. But if God is calling you, you have to go!
Missions month will soon come to an end. But the task will remain unfinished. Let us be faithful, and do our part in the Missions program at Grace. And remember, it’s all for the cause of Christ!