I believe that God's primary desire is reconciliation with His children throughout the world. From Genesis to Revelation, we see God's heart for the nations and in Matthew 28:19, Jesus reiterated this when He instructed His followers to go and make disciples of all nations. This desire, as illustrated in Revelation 7:9, is to have people of every nation, tribe, and tongue worshipping together in their own cultural uniqueness around His throne. Today there are still over 3.1 billion people on the planet who have never heard the Gospel. In Matthew 9:37-38, Jesus said "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
Not everybody is called to go overseas as a missionary. However, that does not mean that we are off the hook for participating in The Great Commission. Everyone has a role to play in seeing disciples made in every nation, tribe, and tongue.
What's My Role?
Missions began in the heart of God, not in the heart of man. It is not something that we decide for ourselves if we will participate. Rather, it is something that every follower of Jesus seeks to understand how he or she is called to participate. Jesus’ last words to his followers were “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). There is more than one way to ‘go and make disciples’. God has specifically gifted and blessed each person in accordance with his or her role in the Great Commission. How has God blessed you? How has He gifted you? How can those gifts and blessings be used for His ultimate goal of redeeming all nations to himself? Look through this list of ways that Christians can be involved in God’s global mission and pray that He would reveal how He has called you to participate.
1 – Pray for the nations
Every follower of Jesus should join in asking the God of the harvest to send more workers. (Matthew 9:37-38, Luke 10:2) We can all intercede on behalf of those who have not yet heard the Good News. For more information on the unreached people groups around the world, visit JoshuaProject.net or TheTravelingTeam.org. You can also sign up to receive daily devotional emails with different unreached people groups (UPGs) at www.GlobalPrayerDigest.org.
2 – Go to the nations
There are innumerable opportunities to go to the nations and put names and faces to the statistics. Start with a short-term trip through your church. Pray about whether or not God might be asking you to serve abroad in some capacity. If you’ve been on a short-term trip and feel ready to take the next step, visit www.Cafe1040.com for more information on an overseas mentorship or getting connected with a sending agency for long-term work.
3 – Send to the nations
Not everybody can go and not everybody wants to go. By financially supporting those who go, you can be an active and essential part of God’s global plan. Find a missionary that shares your heart for a certain location or people group and join their support team. Ask your church how you can financially support short- and long-term missions at your home church. You can also partner financially with organizations that work solely on bringing the Gospel to the unreached, like Cafe 1040. (www.cafe1040.com/give)
4 – Welcome internationals
You do not have to go overseas to find the nations. God brings the nations to us through international students, workers, refugees, and immigrants. It is estimated that there are over 886,000 international students in the U.S. and 80% of them will return home without ever having been invited into an American home. Whether you live in a big city, small town, or college town, look for opportunities to welcome internationals and be the hands and feet of Jesus right in your own backyard.
5 – Mobilize to the nations
In the English language, the word ‘mobilize’ is primarily used in the context of the military. It refers to the logistics of moving assets, supplies, soldiers, and weapons to wherever the need is greatest. Mobilizing in the context of missions is helping people see the need for missions, understand God’s heart for the nations, and get the resources and the people to the place of greatest need: the unreached. You can do this by sharing with others what you about missions, encouraging others to learn more, and helping people see the importance of global missions. For more ideas and resources on mobilization, visit www.mobilization.org.