A Mission Church is one of the goals of a missionary. They work, often for years, to prepare to enter an unreached part of the world. They learn the language, the customs, and the religious status that exists. There is much to learn. Cultural assimilation can mean the difference between effective ministry and, quite honestly, your life, depending on where your calling lies. Once a missionary successfully integrates into the region, they look for that one place that would be best suited for their purpose; to build a Mission Church and spread the Gospel of Christ.
Missionaries cannot do all the work alone. They need the support of Christians stateside. They require funding, able bodies, and fervent prayer. This means that we should help missionaries that are out there, spreading the Word of God. But what can we do here? There are four ways we can help those who are living sacrificial lives for Christ.
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)
This is the most difficult way to support missions for many of us. It requires sacrifice. We have jobs, family, bills, and other obligations that we feel keep us from committing any type of trip. And for many, this is okay. God has called each of us to where we are. Some are called to work our 9-5 job, some are called to minister here at home, but the select few are given a higher obligation; foreign missions.
You may not be the primary missionary to go to India, China, or Burma to plant a mission church, but you may be called to stand alongside one who is currently ministering in another land. If you feel this tug on your heart, then you must obey. There should not be worries or doubt. Just as the Lord provides for the missionary abroad, He can support your endeavor of a short-term trip to help share in the missionary’s vision of drawing people to Christ.
Financially Support the Mission Church
“Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” (Romans 12:13)
Many churches sponsor missionaries abroad. Whether it is here in the states, or on foreign soil, a mission church requires funding to function. They have bills just as you have bills. Food, electricity (that is if they have that luxury, many mission churches don’t), ministering materials such as Bibles and tracts, rental of facilities to minister in, and some have support staff. Often, sponsor churches have the support built into their missions’ budget. However, there are always incidentals. Things that require above and beyond giving.
It is important to be aware of what and how your church is involved with the missionaries they support. If you are unaware of needs, ask your missions director or pastor what your missionaries require. Then be obedient to what God directs you to give. Then allow those seeds to be planted and pray they are used to His glory.
Send Missionary Teams
“And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Luke 10:2)
This is a combination of Going and Supporting. Missions trips may not be feasible for you, but they could be for someone else. Perhaps even someone who is financially unable to participate. They have the heart and would be effective with the mission church, but they cannot get there and the support while they are there. Just as there are people who are called to go, and there are people called to give, there are people called to send others into the mission field.
A Mission Church is always in need of fresh bodies to support the ministry, especially when it begins to grow. Mission teams will be tasked with work building up the facility, reaching out to the communities, and sharing the Gospel to help expand the missionary’s vision of reaching the lost.
Pray for the Mission Church
“Now I want to talk about some other matters. Brothers and sisters, pray for us. Pray that the Lord’s message will spread quickly. Pray that others will honor it just as you did.” (2 Thessalonians 3:1)
There is one way to support a mission church that everyone can do. You may not be in the financial position to support or to send, and your personal obligations prevent you from going, but everyone can pray. Even Paul recognized this. Prayer can often go into places that money cannot. Financial support can open doors and provide for the means for a mission church to function, but money cannot fight the enemy — the one who seeks to harm the ministry.
Support churches have prayer cards, letters, or lists of the missionaries that the church, or the association the church is part of, supports. Know these lists. Pray over these lists. Even if you go, send, or support. Prayer fights unseen battles. The spiritual battles missionaries face. Missionary work is serious work. They are often at risk of personally and spiritually.
The Wrap Up
Go! Support! Send! Pray! There is something for all of us. We do not need to be fearsome because of the misconception that the Great Commission requires us all to quit our jobs and live like hermits in the African jungles to witness to a tribe that speaks in an unknown language with a spear aimed at our head. In all honesty, yes, that might be someone’s calling, but it is not everyone’s.
God has you where you are right now for a reason. Let your job be your mission church. Let your neighborhood be your mission field. Allow God to work in and through you in your daily life. And also pray what He would have you do to help support the mission church. Then be obedient. Remember the Lord’s words to the saints in Matthew 25, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”