Burden about Missions

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by GodsRealTruth, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. GodsRealTruth

    GodsRealTruth
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    I am a pastor who usually just visits and does not post. However, lately with all the talk of missionaries overseas I must voice a burden the Lord Jesus has been placing on my heart.

    First let me say, what I am about to say is not to demean or devalue missionarys in the least bit.

    I am a Southern Baptist and lately have been attending alot of Associational meeting pushing us to send money to help churches and send missionaries overseas.

    I hope I am not the only one to see this is backwards. Jesus told his disciples to start in their own backyard first and then go out farther.

    We have plenty of churches struggling right here in the United States that could use this money we are "sending overseas" instead. We have plenty of people in our own backyard who are lost without Jesus where we need to send missionaries in our own backyard to hear the Gospel. However, people can't seem to get this concept down, and it frustrates me. :BangHead:

    We need to worry about those in our own backyard first before we send people overseas.

    I am praying we do not continue to commit the sin of overlooking our brethren and those who are lost here at home. :1_grouphug: :jesus: :praying:
     
  2. PeterM

    PeterM
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    It's not about doing one over the other... Many SBC churches have embraced the ACTS 1:8 plan as a model. The idea is to work on 4 simultaneous fronts: locally, regionally, nationally, and globally (as expressed by Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the Ends of the Earth). In my own pastorate, I have found that the folks who participate in international missions projects are the one who are most effective at home as well.

    On the other hand, I have typically found that those who support keeping our focus here at "home" are very often not active in reaching anyone (I am not saying that is you). If you or those in your church are using LifeWay Sunday School materials, this month's study series covers "Having a Heart for Missions". Week 1 exposed that it has alway been God's plan to reach the nations, using His people to do the labor.

    I too do not want to loose focus on the lost here at home, but I am who is very concerned that the typical Evangelical church (Baptist included) retains over 90% of all monies given, and with that we have built buildings and multimedia spectaculars. It would seem to me that getting on our hearts what God has always had on His heart would change a great deal in our western churches. It has always been God plan for us to reach the nations, the question will be do we make His plan ours, or do we make up our own.
     
    #2 PeterM, Dec 23, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2008
  3. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    Howdy and thanks for the thread! Glad to see another lurker posting up!

    The $350 million dollar NAMB budget would suggest we're spending way TOO much capital on our homeland.

    I'd suggest we send all the money overseas, save what we need for starting new churches and revitalizing old works. American Christians could, if they really desired, deeply impact their locales with the actions and words of Gospel and never have to spend a red-cent to see lives changed.

    We need more money overseas and not wasted on frivolity of here and now. I've got friends in the foreign fields who are paying ridiculous amounts of money more for food, transportation, and everything else because of the weak dollar.

    I really believe if we handed every American Christian a hammer, nails, and plans and said get to it and they really did we would see our landscape changed dramatically...particularly because this is what we are doing to our foreign missionaries right now. :)
     
  4. Tom Bryant

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    I agree we ought to do both and that if we lose the local church, the cause of world wide missions will suffer. But there are 2 observations:

    1) If American churches fail to send people to the world, God will raise up another country to do what He has commanded us to do. This isn't a Calvinist assumption because I ain't one. It is the view of Church history. When England started to slip as a missionary sending country, God raised up America to be in many ways the financier of reaching the world with the Gospel.

    2) I am reminded that we in America have Christian radio stations, Christian churches, Christian ministries, scores of Bible colleges and hundreds of Christian Schools... name one other country that has that blessing? Why should we who have received so much are also required to do much for those who have never had the opportunity to hear. And that means going outside of the US into the world at large.

    just $0.01 worth :smilewinkgrin:
     
  5. DHK

    DHK
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    There is no one in American that doesn't have the opportunity (if he wants that opportunity) to hear the gospel. There are Christian radio stations, Bible book stores, evangelical churches, access to tracts, Bibles, Christian literature, everywhere in this nation. No one has an excuse.

    A.B. Simpson once said: No one should have the right to hear the gospel twice until all have heard the gospel once.
    Was he right? If staying in our "own back yard" is the right philosophy, then why did Jesus give the great commission? That entire philosophy negates the Great Commission.

    Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. (not just to every creature in the U.S. of A.) It doesn't add that addendum.

    Is the gospel just for the 10% of the population who speak English while the rest of the 90% of the world who don't speak English remain largely unevangelized?
    What about the nations that are hard to penetrate: Saudia Arabia? India? Pakistan? Afghanistan? Iraq? How successful are we in evangelizing those nations? Are they not deserving of the gospel just as much as we are? Are the souls of Americans of more value in God's sights then the souls of other nations? Has it come to a point that we are so ethnocentric that we put a greater value on our own nationality that we disregard the value or worth of others in comparison to our own selves.

    If the second and greatest command is really true:
    Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself;
    Then wouldn't I do everything possible in my power to see that my neighbor (the world), would be able to hear the gospel and be saved.
    My neighbor is not just America--it is the world, especially in this age that we live in--a world that is reachable with the technology that we have.
     
  6. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    "Without a vision, the church will perish."
    Oswald J. Smith, a pastor, who was rejected because of physical condition, went on to fully sponsor over 300 missionaries through The People's Church in Toronto.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  7. thegospelgeek

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    I agree with PeterM. Doing one does not imply doing the other undone. The Free Will Baptist have both home missions and missions abroad. And Yes, the Gospel is available for those in the US, but sometimes we have to make it "real" for people to see it.
     
  8. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I agree with the others who say it is not either/or but both. Consider the great commission in Acts: "both in Jerusalem and Judea...."

    Having said that, I'd like to point out the inequity of your position. When I lived in Chattanooga, I once counted about 200 Baptist churches in the phone book for that county, with a population of about 200,000 people. That's one Baptist church per 100 people. Frankly, I think that is plenty to reach the population. (I realize there are other kinds of churches, but this gives us a ballpark figure.)

    I currently live and pastor in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, Japan. There are only five Baptist churches here for a population said to be around 365,000. However, I'm going to go with a recent figure I heard of around 320,000. At that level, there is only one Baptist church per 64,000 people.

    Look again.
    Chattanooga, TN: 1 Baptist church per 100 people.
    Asahikawa, Japan: 1 Baptist church per 64,000 or more people.
    That means that Chattanooga has 640 times the number of Baptist churches as Asahikawa.

    There is an old missions illustration that if you saw ten men carrying a log with 9 men on one side and 1 on the other, which side would you help? What about 640 men on one side and one on the other?
     

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