On Mission, part 2
Luke 10: 2-3 “He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.”
It is PLENTIFUL
The aim of mission is that individuals come to know Jesus as Lord and Saviour. But that happens in a variety of ways through medical missions, education, reaching the poor, the orphans and the widows, social justice, helping business enterprise, evangelism and church planting. Even where you are right now without going overseas there would be a variety of ways to reach many people with the message of God’s love. The harvest is indeed plentiful. Let’s be creative. But also let us not be blinded to the many hidden and sub-cultures within people groups all over the world. The harvest is plentiful. It is not enough to say ‘God has called me to reach the Jews’. The Jews in the UK, Russia and in Israel may share the same history but they don’t share the same language and problems. Every nation will have a caste system of some kind, recognised or not, which cuts through language and ethnicity. I have a friend who is church planting in London. All his churches are Chinese. They all speak Chinese so I think. But one church I am translated in to speaks Mandarin and another Cantonese. They don’t understand one another. Even though I just think they are the same people. The harvest is plentiful. Then we can look at the unreached people groups defined by the fact that there is no movement within which can adequately reach the people without outside cross-cultural help. The hidden, lost people groups. Then there are the least evangelised people groups. 25% of the world population still have little or no access to the gospel. The harvest is plentiful.
The need to PRAY for WORKERS
A prayer movement began in England in 1782 led by the Nottingham Baptist Association. Every month churches would meet solely to pray for mission and expansion. It wasn’t long into those meetings that a man drew a map of the world and joined in the prayers, pouring out his own life in prayer for the lost. This man, William Carey, known as the father of modern missions rose into the work of reaching the lost from the place of prayer. We need such movements again. We are living in a new season where for over the last decade at least the Church has been reawakened to the call to pray for the people of the world. New ministries and movements of prayer are emerging. A fresh burden to pray for a release of workers is being seen right across the globe. This is not a movement in the UK to send workers to the four corners of the world. No, this is a world-wide desire and call to pray. Movements of prayer are taking place in Africa and Asia to raise up workers for the harvest. The world is poised for global mission like never before.
The most dangerous places to be a missionary is definitely within the following nations but it is also within the communities of the people groups from these nations and that may be across your street and within your town and city, whichever nation you are in:
North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Pakistan, Iran and Yemen. There are many others of course.
Jesus describes mission as Lambs amongst Wolves. Suddenly the vocabulary changes the price.
There are missionaries today who are lambs among wolves. Yesterday someone from Saudi Arabia read my blog about Mission. I don’t know who they are. A secret believer? But Jesus knows them and loves them and is Immanuel, God with US for them today. Jesus-followers in these places are lambs trying to dodge the attacks, praying God protect me today, get me through today, don’t let me fail you, don’t let me back down, turn back, deny you, I will have succeeded today if I’ve not denied you. Can you imagine that prayer? If you’re praying that prayer every day of your life? Can you just put that into your thinking?
It’s really important to realise that being part of the mission of God involves this.
If you as a Christian do have a difficult time because of your faith in Jesus and perhaps you do get some form of persecution then under that kind of attack remind yourself that there are people in your family of God where leaving is not an option, one day you’ll stand with them in heaven an they’ll say to you. ‘It was tough down there wasn’t it? It was tough’. And they’ll ask you a question, ‘How was it for you?’ I want to be able to respond and say ‘well, I don’t understand why I didn’t have the same persecution, but like you I never backed down when it got tough’.