THE MANDATE FOR MISSIONS

Several years ago we decided that we would set aside the month of October as a concentrated time of focusing on Missions. I believe it has been good for us to keep our minds attuned to the needs of the world for an entire month. We have had some special speakers for the morning services and have had some of our current missionaries give updates on Sunday evenings. We are excited to have this format once again this year. 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 both in our Jerusalem and abroad.

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 local and foreign 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.

Second, 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. Many of our missionaries are nearing the end of their ministries, and the question is who is going to take their place? 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.

Third, I want each individual in our church to develop a deeper passion for Missions. We have seen God call several missionaries from our church over the last few years. 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 each of you will take the month of October and pray that the Lord would mold your heart concerning missions. 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. 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 all of us will increase our Missions involvement in some tangible way. I am asking 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 financially give 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 full-time vocational Missions? If yes, where?

If God has challenged your heart regarding praying for our missionaries, let me encourage you to 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 must go!

Missions month will be over before we know it, 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!

Jay Knolls