By: Ty Williams
What does it mean to have a global perspectvive as a Christian? In Matthew 28, we are called to make disciples of all nations. This is a difficult task, but with Christ’s guidance and help, it can and will be accomplished. However, as individual Christians, and also corporately as a Church, it is important that we find and understand our role in this mission so that we are able to impact not just our nation, but many other nations as well.
Two summers ago, I had the opportunity to go to Northern India to spend time with some pastors. While I was there, I felt The Lord had really laid it on my heart that as a Christian it was important that not only must I impact my nation, but I also must in some way impact other nations as well. In saying all of this, first and foremost, it is important that we as Christians are engaging in Christ’s mission right in front of us by sharing Christ with our family, friends, and coworkers. Many times, people can become so focused on world missions, they forget the mission field that exists within their family, friends, and even within their own city.
Yet the opposite can be true of other Christians. Many times we can become so focused on the mission right in front of us, we forget about the numerous needs of the world. According to David Platte, “More than 4.5 billion people in the world today are without Christ. If this fact were not serious enough, more than a billion of these people have never even heard the gospel.” Platte continues, “If this is true, then the implications for our lives are huge. If more than a billion people today are headed to a Christ-less eternity without ever hearing the gospel, then we don’t have time to waste our lives on anything else.” Because of this we must have a global perspective not only individually, but also corporately as a church.
As mentioned earlier, as Christians we are able to engage in the mission right in front of us interacting with our family and friends with the purpose of seeing them come to know Christ. We can get involved with the local mission by serving food in poorer areas of the city, and also by giving some of our clothes and extra belongings that we have to those in need, with the aim of showing and sharing the Gospel. But then the question still remains, how do we impact the nations when we still live here in the United States?
First, I think to know how to do this, we have to look to the Scriptures. In Matthew 9:36-38, Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few, therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into the harvest field.” From this verse it is clear that through prayer we are able to have one foot in the nations. We can pray that the Lord would send missionaries overseas, and we can pray that the Lord would raise up indigenous pastors, teachers, and laborers overseas who are faithful to the task they have been given.
Then in Romans 10:14-15, we find Paul saying, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’” From these verses, we can surmise that a primary way for people to believe in the Gospel is through hearing it, and in order to hear, people must be sent to them. And so, even though we ourselves are not the ones going overseas, we are still able to send and support those who do. In doing so, we become the ones holding the rope for those who are overseas.
Another way we are able to impact the nations is by welcoming international students and refugees who come to our country. On Southeast Missouri State’s campus alone, there are students who hail from Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, and many more. Hundreds of International Students right here in Cape! By simply welcoming these visitors into our homes, we can make a big difference in their lives, and open up doors for the Gospel in all sorts of places and with people we may never meet.
Along with this, we are able to have one foot in the nations by supporting indigenous pastors and teachers in their respective countries. A few more ideas include sponsoring children through Compassion, Kids Alive, or another Gospel-centered agency; adopting Scripture translation projects; adopting un-reached or un-engaged people groups around the world who are in need of a Christian witness. All of these things are easy for us as Christians to do, even while we live here in America.
We have been blessed to be a blessing to others (Gen 12), and by God’s grace He has given us many ways that we are able to do this locally, but also among the nations. Remember, this isn’t merely a task of obligation, but should be done because we have been compelled by the love of Christ. Christ has given up everything to save us, may we be willing to have open hands to the resources the Lord has gifted us with, so that we may bless all the peoples’ of the world.
Some helpful resources include:
Books: Operation World, Let the Nations Be Glad, Radical
Websites: Joshua Project, IMB (Embrace), Seed company, Pioneers, Navigators.org, Urbana.org, http://www.travelingteam.org