Missions in your Churches

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by His In China, Apr 27, 2006.

  1. His In China

    His In China
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    Missions – Becoming a Dinosaur in our Faith?

    2Co 10:16 To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand.

    Friends – I’m venting right now, but yet consider the words below.

    Missions are becoming more and more of a dinosaur in the Baptist walk of life.

    Many Baptist churches today have never even seen a missionary, must less spoken to one.

    When we mention the 10-40 Window, people are clueless.

    When the Baptists are told that the 10-40 Window is now open, we marvel?

    When the Baptists are told that the cults are pouring in, we shudder.

    When the Baptists are told of the struggles of the Christians in the 10-40 Window, they pity them.

    When we talk about missions and the millions who have never heard, we might even shed a tear.

    When Baptists talk of missions, we talk of the past heroes of the faith. Why always the past? Why no talk of the present?

    Missions in the Baptist faith are fast becoming archaic. Its something that our forefathers did but isn’t something that my children should consider.

    Missions have become something that only young people do for a summer while they are in college or something that retired people do for a holiday when they take a summer trip.

    What does the Baptist talk about?

    We spend countless hours arguing scriptures instead of carrying the “good news” to others. Maybe if we were busy getting the “good news” out, we would have less time to argue.

    We spend countless hours debating if the Bible is inspired or preserved. If it isn’t, than why preach or believe?

    We spend countless hours discussing salary packages and retirements – shame on you!

    We spend countless hours doing everything, but praying that God’s people will carry out the Great Commission. Even when we do pray, we do not pray what we can do. We just pray for that poor unfortunate soul who has no chance to hear the gospel. We pray with an unbelieving heart to reach, to go, to help, but we do pray.

    I wonder what God thinks of our prayers? What does he think when we pray with no feet to our prayers or no efforts to carry out the great commission?

    Rom 10:15 - And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

    Pastors, Preachers, Sunday School teachers, Christians, please tell your people that missions is real, missions is for today as it was for yesterday.

    Missionaries are not super saints. We are just common fishermen, carpenters, tax collectors, and doctors.

    Tell them of the millions that died today without a chance to hear, BECAUSE we didn’t tell them. Tell them of those who are searching for hope and peace, but never find it because no one is here to tell them. Tell them that the Devil is happy and excited that the Baptists are not as active as in years past. Tell them that while we wait, talk and tell stories of missions, the cults are pouring in.

    Its time we understood it’s a shame that the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witness and Seven Day Adventist are pouring in and there is not a Baptist to be found?

    It still begins with a simple – “Here am I; send me”. Why are we afraid to say “here am I; send me”. Why has it become “there they are, let’s hope that some else tells them”,

    Isa 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

    Has your church ever had the privilege to send a person to the missions’ field? If your church has never commissioned a person to the field is that not something we should consider.

    What is your church doing to get the Gospel to the regions beyond? I realize what we are doing in the “apple orchards” around our churches.

    Psa 126:5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

    Let’s learn to sow in tears and not to shed tears over lost opportunities since we were too busy to labor in HIS Fields.

    Pray for us as we work here in China. It’s heart breaking to watch so many talented and loving Chinese teachers and students fall into hell because no one wants to join the harvest.
     
  2. Tom Bryant

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    I understand your frustration. I am thankful for the work you are doing.

    But it's not that way in our church. Out of a budget of $220,000, we gave almost $40,000 to missions of which $25,000 went outside the US. We have a missions minute in our morning services for a different missionary each week. We send people out on missiontrips. Last Summer we went to Zimbabwe to hold revivals in schools and churches.

    I am saying this not to shamelessly plug our church... but to say that we are one of a growing number of churches who are looking not just to reach our apple orchards, but to sow and be apart of God's reaping through out the world.

    Your name and ministry will be added to our prayer list. You are being used of God in a great way... but like Elijah, you are not alone!
     
  3. ccrobinson

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    I'll bite. What's the 10-40 Window? I've heard dozens of missionaries preach in the 7 years I've been at my church and not one of them has ever mentioned a 10-40 window.


    We support over 20 missionaries and are the sending church for about half of those.

    Echoing Tom's words, you're not alone out there. In fact, one of the missionary couples we sent out are English teachers in China.
     
  4. His In China

    His In China
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    What is the 10/40 Window?


    World evangelism statistics: Of the 55 least evangelized countries, 97% of their population lives within the 10/40 Window.

    Unless something changes soon, most of these unreached people will never hear the Gospel. Why? Well, Bryant Myers of World Vision has estimated that only about one and a quarter percent ( 1.25% )of Christian mission giving is going to missions work in the 10/40 Window. Open evangelism is difficult and even impossible in many 10/40 Window countries. Those are creative access areas.

    What will you do in the next five days that will move the Church toward reaching people in the 10/40 window with the gospel?

    The vision of a dying world: The people in the mission fields

    Working on a school report about missions? Here are some facts to use.

    Missions statistics from the places of the 10/40 Window:

    Center of population:Two-thirds of the world's population -- more than 3.2 billion people -- live in the 10/40 Window.

    Unreached and unevangelized: 95% of the people living in the 10/40 Window are unevangelized. Many have never heard the Gospel message even once. There are either no Christians or not enough of a Christian movement in many cultures of the 10/40 Window to carry out vibrant near-neighbor evangelism. If those groups are to be evangelized, believers will need to leave their own culture to enter another where they will seek to plant the gospel.

    Such cross-cultural evangelism is required because there are people groups with no church movements that are understandable or relevant to them.

    Good news: There's a difference between unreached and unreachable. In 1989 there were only four known Christians living in Mongolia. That country now has an estimated 10,000 indigenous believers. Also, Christian television programming can now be received in many closed 10/40 Window nations.
    Poverty: Eighty-five percent of those living in the 10/40 window are the poorest of the world's poor.

    Good news: Christians delivered more than $1 million worth of food to just one 10/40 Window refugee camp in a recent year. In one North African country that is hostile to the Gospel, abundant rain fell after an Easter service. A local news channel reported, "Christians have brought rain to the desert."

    World religions: Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism are centered within the 10/40 Window.
    Least evangelized cities: Half of the world's least evangelized cities are in this window.
    Statistical data on unreached people groups:
    The statistics of the numbers of non-Christians can be staggering.

    865 million unreached Muslims or Islamic followers in 3330 cultural sub-groupings
    550 million unreached Hindus in 1660 cultural sub-groups
    150 million unreached Chinese in 830 groups
    275 million unreached Buddhists in 900 groups
    2550 unreached tribal groups (which are mainly animistic) with a total population of 140 million
    Forming a smaller -- though important -- unreached group are the 17 million Jews scattered across 134 countries

    Good news: Missions researcher David Barrett says the country with the most rapid Christian expansion ever is China where there are 10,000 new Christian converts every day.
    Bible translation availability
    At least some part of Scripture has been translated into 2,212 of the world's 6,500 languages
    366 languages have the entire Bible
    928 other languages have the New Testament
    Individual books (such as the Gospel of John) are available in 918 additional languages
    80 percent of the world's people have access to at least some portion of the Bible in a language they can understand.
     
  5. His In China

    His In China
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    The Chinese People

    Population Summary:
    Mainland China: 1.3 billion (5 times the population of America)
    Taiwan: 21 million
    Hong Kong: 6.4 million
    Macao: 400,000
    Language: Mandarin (70%), Cantonese, five other major dialects

    Fast Facts:
    · Urban Population: 35%

    · There are four times (4x) as many people without Christ in China as there are people in the United States.

    · Every Day in China:
    54,477 people are born
    21,403 people die

    · Every 3 days in China:
    164,431 people are born
    64,209 die; more people than the capital of West Virginia

    · China has an estimated 1,200,000,000 people without Christ! (Thats 95% of the population.)

    · 892 people die every hour in China

    · 93% of China's population is ethnically Han (what most people think of when they picture Chinese people); however, about 7% of the population is made up of minority or tribal groups.
     
  6. His In China

    His In China
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    TOM & CCROBINSON -- THANKS FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT!

    I do realize there are some churches who are faithful to hold the ropes, send, and love. However, churches like yours are NOW the minority and no longer the majority.

    In years pass, the Baptist were always on the front line of any movement to get the gospel out. Now we take back seat to the cults in sending young people, couples and even the middle age leaders.

    I've been on an airplane coming to CHina and over half the plane was filled with college students from a Church of Christ college in TN. THey are baptising "supposedly" converts by the hundreds.

    It saddens me that we (Baptist as a whole) no longer have vision, no longer have desire as a whole to go to the regions beyond.

    Everytime I meet a group of students from the USA, they are either from BYU - Mormon, Church of Christ, Jehovah's Witness and now even the Seven Day Adventist. This is why I've posted the above article. We Baptist (as a whole) have fallen in the ranks.

    There are several churches in many areas that are doing more than just the fair share of sending and supporting, but on the whole, many Baptist churches have still yet to even see a missionary and sad to say, never even given to a mission program.

    Many Baptist Churches still have Pastors and he himself has never been to a mission field to visit and see the needs. Missions has become a far away problem that many pastors don't want to see since they are bogged down with many local problems.

    In recent years, there has been a mind shift and its different from where Baptist stood historically. Why? I don't have the answer, but I do realize the Baptist World is missing a blessing and letting the cults get a stronghold in these countries in the 10-40 window.

    Thanks for being faithful there and continue to hold the ropes.
     
  7. Tom Bryant

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    "I do realize the Baptist World is missing a blessing and letting the cults get a stronghold in these countries in the 10-40 window."

    I had spent some time in Romania before the communist were overthrown. When the overthrow was accomplished - primarily through believers, by the way - the doors were open... but believers in general and baptists in particular, were slow in moving in. Now much of that opportunity has vanished and many cults have gone in.

    Russell Glazier - who has been with the Lord for more than 30 years now - was a missionary in China and was thrown in prison when Mao took over. When I was a young man and rejecting the gospel my parents and church preached kept praying for and talking with me. His influence was one of the biggest means God used to bring me to Jesus.

    So missions is a part of my DNA.

    God bless you!
     
  8. J.R.Maddox

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  9. MRCoon

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    I was just talking to my Pastor the other day about Churches and missions. I'm part of a Mission to the Military Church here in Japan. We have 5 Missionaries on staff, The Pastor, the Financial Director, a Missionary to the Japanese, a Missionary who fills the role as Associate Pastor/Outreach Pastor, and a missionary who is the Christian School Administrator.

    Anyways, we were talking about Churches that claim to be "Mission Minded" and how this truly differs from those that are Mission Hearted. Many Churches claim to be MM but don't really support as many missions as they could or truly test the concept of Faith Promise Giving. On the other hand, there a Churches that are MH due to the fact that they support Missions not just in financial support but special needs, letters/emails, gifts, etc. this is the difference between being mission Minded and mission Hearted. We are a Mission Church that averages 350-400 on Sunday Morning and supports almost 200 Missionaries...The Lord is Blessing beyond anything we could imagine or hope!!
     
  10. Pastor_Bob

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    I spent the entire month of March preaching about missions. I am very familiar with the 10/40 window and our severe lack of evangelistic efforts there. As I understand it, nearly 60% of the world's population lives in this area yet it receives less than 20% of our missionary labor and only 10% of our missionary dollars.

    Our church supports 42 missionaries here at home and around the world. We practice Faith Promise Giving. We have three of our young people, raised in our church, now serving the Lord on the mission field. One of them has been in China for 12 years.

    OUR CHURCH
    Click on the Missions page to see our missionaries.
     
  11. His In China

    His In China
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    Mr. Coon, Pastor Bob -- Amen! As I mentioned before, there are still some who know and understand. I just wish others would join in and realize the blessing of sending and working in these harvest fields.

    We are THANKFUL for Churches like yours and we hope you can be an example for others to emulate.
     
  12. John of Japan

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    Good words from all. Praise the Lord for Pastor_Bob's church and others like it.

    On May 6 my wife and I will celebrate 25 years in Japan. Each furlough I have seen the burden increase in our supporting churches. Now more than ever the IFB movement is missions-hearted, as MrCoon puts it. I have read that the IFB movement is the only segment of American evangelicalism in which the missionary force is increasing, and I believe it. I can prove it from figures in Japan. Keep on keeping on for the Lord, amen? [​IMG]
     
  13. His In China

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    John -- 25 years -- AMEN! IFB -- AMEN! Praise the Lord for all of you!

    Now lets also pray that others will enter into his harvest fields (every tribe, tongue and nation) and that we will catch up from the lost grounds that's been given over to the cults here in the 10-40.
     
  14. j_barner2000

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    Brother, I am blessed in that the church I am privelidged to serve has been consistantly sending out about 30 % of our budget out to support missionaries. It is down slightly since I have come here because our numbers have grown.

    We discussed this fact at a recent business meeting because I saw a decline in the percentage... only to be reminded our tithes and offerings have risen while our missionary support has remained static....

    The quandry is... do we support more missionaries, or provide more support for the ones we support now. We are a small church and average $250 (+ gifts for b-day, Christmas, etc.) or so to each of our missionaries annually. I believe we should raise the level of support to the people we are currently supporting, but a particular member is espousing adding a new missionary or two. We have tabled this topic for 3 months now and I want to get it resolved... ( If we were Southern Baptist, it would be easier to resolve this one.)


    I have gotten agreement to place the "unused" money to keep our missions level at the 35% it was at when I got here in a seperate budget item for missions to be sent... just so we keep in the habit of not using that money elsewhere or it will be harder to return to the level we were at before...
    Pray for us as I am going to bring this to a vote without further discussion at the next business meeting. Likely will be done by secret ballot so nobody feels pressured to vote either way...
     
  15. John of Japan

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    This is tremendous, brother. You have a truly mission-hearted church. Personally I think that 30% is a very impressive part of the budget for a small church to devote to missions. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I do have to say though that $250/year per missionary is low. At that rate, a missionary with just $2000/month (very low, impossible for Japan) would have to have 100 supporting churches. We have 50, and that is hard enough to manage when it comes to furlough. Thus, I would suggest raising your current missionaries rather than taking on new ones.

    Have you thought of going to a faith promise plan? If you made faith promise a part of your missions budget, it would allow you to raise your missionaries without taking anything from the general fund. You could gradually year-by-year increase the percentage in faith promise of the missions budget.

    I'm praying for your decision. [​IMG]
     
  16. His In China

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    Br. Barner -- each church has a different way of handling funds for mssns. Some churches will raise the mssns dollars per missionary after one year. The next year they add missionaries. There has to be a balance year after year, but thats where each church differs in grace.

    If you are having steady grow in your church and missions giving, you will have more options, but if you are breaking even each year, you will have to prayerfully decide to add new missionaries or just up their monthly support.

    When was the last time you added missionaries compared to the last time you raised the support?

    If its been several years since you've added a missionary, it might be time to add one. However, if you've just added some, maybe time to raise the support.

    In some ways, you can't go wrong either way, as long as your program is moving and by the way you speak, it is MOVING!

    Just keep it active and maybe use some of the surplus to visit the field.
     
  17. j_barner2000

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    we had not added any missionaries or upped the support in the 18 months we have been here. (first pastorate is tough) However, after prayer, we have decided to adjust the support to all of our missionaries. That was my opinion in the first place... We need to provide a minimum amount ( We will visit the exact amount in a special missions meeting after we study this issue more.) to each missionary before we add any. I may be asking some of you missionaries for suggestions of target when the time comes.
     
  18. John of Japan

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    Amen, brother. Sounds good. I think I can speak for the other missionaries when I say, call on us any time.
     
  19. John of Japan

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    double post
     

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