Thursday, November 16, 2006

...for the nations.

for the nations
Originally uploaded by ericblauer.
The average Christian around the world gives 15 cents a week to foreign missions. The average Christian in Europe gives 25 cents, and the average believer in North America gives 50 cents - less than the cost of a cup of coffee. (Source: Missions Researcher Justin Long (quoted in Baptist Press)

The above statistics are brutal but in many ways they are understandable to me based on how most Christians are exposed to "missions". If the need is always presented in a impersonal, non-connected, paper-based or video-based won't generate much sustained momentum for a cause. (oh and by the way, where is he drinking coffee?)

I think people need to connect with people they know, they need to see, touch and hear the world they are trying to be awakened to help. That can come about through finding ways to move from just being a church that has visiting "missionaries" to becoming a church that is on a mission. Seeking as Erwin Mcmanus says to build a church full of people who see themselves as missionaries no matter where God calls them to live. I long to send out people to plant churches not just support those who we discover are doing it. I think it takes both but if we are honest, we really have not seen to many people carry a call to the nations and actually go. Lot's of talk but not lots of walk in this area. I long to see that change.

The “wine” of heaven is to endlessly experience God’s love passing through one’s soul as it is expressed to others. That is at the heart of missions. We go because we love and we love because God has placed His love within our hearts. Our capabilities create responsibilities. Our indifference creates casualties. We are needed to advance the purposes of God in this generation.

The hardest thing for people to believe in the world is that God is good. What is God’s plan for making this believable to suffering people? We are the plan. He doesn’t have another plan. You are the light of the world – let your light so shine among men that they will see your good works and give glory to your father in heaven -Author unknown

I pray that God will grant us the boldness to act on His word in ways that will unfold more and more stories that will proclaim His glory to the world. Stories that produce this result: "Tell your children about these things, then let your children tell their children, and let your grandchildren tell their children." (Joel 1:3 NCV). Let's create history with our own hands and feet.

Those who love stay awake when duty calls, wake up from sleep when someone needs help; those who love keep burning, no matter what, like a lighted torch. -Thomas Kempis

I truly believe that the Lord of the Harvest has a "burning torch" for some people or place for all of us in some way that only we can fulfill. Will it cost? Yes, will it be worth it? Yes...eventually.


Anonymous said...

What Dallas and Jodi Sphar shared last night was amazing! It is hard to put to words the feelings and passions it stirred in me. What impacted me the most was that their ministry is about love, about relationship. It's not simply "having" to reach all the lost souls. They are receiving just as much as they're giving.

I want to be a part of that. If not there, then here. If not fully through finances then through action. Scary, challenging, sacrificing and humbling but passionate, obedient, fulfilling and used potential.

FCB said...

Great post Eric, it brought a few thoughts to mind, especially the part about being connected to people. A wise missionary once told me that the way to get involved in missions or a ministry is to find out where God is already at work and join those involved.
I also think short term mission trips are such an effective way to introduce us to missions and connect us to those in other cultures.

Anonymous said...

Good post, Eric. Actually, my original statement was, "And just how much was that cup of coffee before church" - not "less than..." :-) I actually prefer tea, but I drink coffee here in Southeast Asia. My favorite is kopi aceh, strong black Acehenese coffee with a healthy dollop (e.g. about one-fourth of the cup) of liquified sugar. But you're right, the primary way for fundraising is for a personal connection to the ministry you are supporting - although this doesn't keep the Southern Baptists from raising tens of millions of dollars on a single offering - the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. [sorry the post is late, only just ran across it.]