Missions Work: More Than a Command

We have all heard the typical reasons for missions work: Jesus commanded us to preach the gospel to the whole world, and people need to hear about him. Digging deeper, however, missions work is more than a command and a need—it defines us, and whether we do it or not defines the world. 


Missions as Our Identity and Faith 

According to Scripture, missions work defines us because it is part of our identity as Christians. 1 Peter 2:9 declares that “you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (ESV). As believers, then, we are chosen to tell others about Jesus. Together, this verse and Ephesians 1:4-10 show that God predestined us to become His children and ambassadors before He created the world, and as a result, He has given us a role to play in His plan “to unite all things in him” by sending us to share the gospel with others.  

Not only is missions work part of who we are, but it is also part of our faith in Jesus. If we’ve entrusted our souls to Jesus for salvation, how can we not trust Him about what He calls us to do, specifically His command to tell others about Him?  

 In short, missions work is inseparable from our faith and identity in Christ, so it is not just something we should do—it defines who God made us to be. 


We Have What the World Needs 

Bad news seems to bombard us constantly as our nation grows darker politically and culturally and as we hear of the emotional and physical suffering of people around the world. While we cannot fix all the problems in our society, we know how to experience true peace in times of hardship. Our hurting world desperately needs the hope and eternal life that we have in Christ, so by testifying about how Jesus has enabled us to find joy amidst trials, we can bring healing and comfort to those in pain with the help of God. We have news that is too good not to share, and whether we do so or not can define the earthly lives and eternal destinies of the people around us. 


How Big Is the Need? 

Every day, more than 70,000 people die without hearing about Jesus.i On top of the fact that there are many nonbelievers both in America and in other places with a thriving Christian presence, about forty percent of the world—3.4 billion people—are not just non-Christians, they lack access to the gospel because they belong to unreached people groups.ii 

An unreached people group (UPG) is a group with a shared culture that contains so few Christians that these believers cannot effectively share the gospel with others in that group. Specifically, 2% or less of the population of a UPG identify as evangelical Christians.iii 

While we may feel hesitant to share Christ in other countries when so many people in our own country need the gospel, the existence of UPGs necessitates international missions work. Americans have much greater access to the gospel than many people who live in other countries, especially those who belong to UPGs. Considering that most Christian Americans stay in the States, the demand for evangelizing locally does not diminish the need for believers to tell others about Jesus overseas. 


God Equipped Us for Missions 

Tackling this mission that God has given us may seem difficult and scary, but God has equipped us with what we need to share His love. Just as He sent the Holy Spirit to empower the first missionaries, the apostles, He has filled us with the power of His Spirit today (Acts 1:8). God did not intend for us to carry out the Great Commission by ourselves. In fact, Jesus told His disciples that when “the Spirit of truth” came as a “Helper,” the Spirit would “bear witness about me” through His followers (John 15:26-27). Even the Apostle Paul, one of the greatest evangelists, recognized that he spoke “in weakness and in fear” rather than “in plausible words of wisdom” but that his message effectively reached its hearers because of the Holy Spirit’s power (1 Corinthians 2:3-5). 

Additionally, God has provided us with fellow believers who can prepare us to share His love with others: “he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12). God has placed our churches and other Christians in our lives to help us evangelize, and He also meant for us to work alongside our fellow believers as “one body” (1 Corinthians 12:12-26). 

We are not alone in sharing Christ’s love with the world. Whether God’s calling you to take a short-term missions trip, move to another country, or evangelize in your local community, He has equipped and chosen you to live out your identity and faith by sharing the Good News with those who desperately need the life, hope, and joy they can find in Christ. 

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