“The mark of a great church is not its seating capacity, but its sending capacity.” — Mike Stachura
According to the book Church Still Works by Paul Chappell and Clayton Reed, there are over 13,000 Independent Baptist churches in the United States. Can you imagine what would happen around the world if every church were to send out just one missionary from their congregation? The impact of the gospel would certainly lighten up this dark world. There is no reason to think the task is too big! It is actually well within the grasp of your church. Did you know that the large majority of missionaries come from churches that run around 50 people in attendance? Our missionaries are not always coming from the megachurches, they’re coming from average or small congregations. Here are a few thoughts to encourage you and your church that it is possible to send a missionary from your congregation… and it can even happen within the next year:
Set your focus.
The focus of the church is expressed by what the pastor preaches, what is emphasized in the Sunday school classes, what is said in the announcements, and what is hung upon the walls of your church. The focus must be getting the gospel to the world. This is crucial to understand if you want to send a missionary from your congregation. Sunday school teachers should be supplied with missions lessons. Missionary biographies should be available in the church. Posters and maps presenting the need should be hung up on the walls. Missionary prayer letters should be read in services and placed on the walls. Missions trips should be planned every year or two. Missionaries should be invited to challenge the church once a month. Missionary illustrations should be used and stats about the need around the world should be heard. Everyone in the church should be involved in praying God would send out someone from your congregation. Make the focus in your church obviously clear that you want to get the gospel to the lost of this world!
Point the youth in the right direction.
You must not simply entertain the youth but realize they are the future of the church in a few short years. If you want to see the future of the church, take a look at your youth program. If you can strategically fire up the youth with a desire to spread the gospel, that fire will spread through the rest of your church. You must be intentional about what is being taught, the activities that are being used, and those allowed to work with the youth. The devil is a fisherman, and he is fishing out our young people way too fast. The allures of fame, fortune, and fun have overtaken the youth, and you must intentionally plead and pray God’s will becomes the focus in their lives.
The Lord is returning.
You do not have to open your eyes very wide to notice the signs pointing towards our Lord’s imminent return. When Christ returns, there will be no more opportunity to send out missionaries, share the gospel, or plead with others to go tell the lost. The buildings will be empty, the accounts will be left, and the darkness around the world will only grow darker.
Christians must live as if we believe He is returning. We cannot take anything to Heaven except for the souls that we lead to Christ and the work that we do for Him now. We must work for the night is coming. Let us pray to our Savior and plead with the saints to go far and wide sharing the gospel before our Lord returns.
Here to Serve,