Where Are Missions Headed?
If missions are not careful, they may become like the old empty cathedrals in Europe. Sidetracked, our main activities could become: caring for missionaries, building retirement homes, increasing allotments, upgrading insurance, and obtaining nicer offices instead of taking the Gospel to the masses.
If we get sidetracked with the baby boomer, baby buster, seeker or warfare seminar mentality instead of taking the message to the lost, missions in the twenty-first century will be nothing more than a shell (possibly with lots of activity but with no life).
As we approach the twenty-first century, our purpose should be to “Proclaim [Christ], admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ” (Colossians 1:28).
All evangelical missons and churches need to plan together to evangelize and disciple the millions in India, in lost Europe, Muslim Africa, and the Middle East, the world’s 150 million street children, the 800 thousand teenage prostitutes of Thailand, as well as the major unreached cities of the world such as the 550 unchurched slum areas of Manila and the over nine million poor of Calcutta. This will take more than “supporting a national worker or needy child” (each of us should do both!).
Churches and missions need to recapture the word “sacrifice” for the sake of the lost. Let’s not wait for the twenty-first century. Let’s reach our generation now with the Gospel.
Charles Spurgeon said from his bed of sickness, “If you do not wish to be full of regrets when you are obliged to lie still, work while you can. If you desire to make a sickbed as soft as it can be, do not stuff it with mournful reflections that you wasted time when you were in health and strength!”
Why don’t some of us older pastors and missionaries forget about retirement, break out of the “we deserve a break” mold, and give all we have before death for the Gospel’s sake and God’s glory? We shouldn’t just talk about our heroes such as Paul, C.T. Studd, Hudson Taylor, George Whitefield, David Livingstone, L.E. Maxwell, William Booth, and Amy Carmichael; let’s emulate them! Missionaries, pastors, and Christian workers today, and in the twenty-first century, should recommit ourselves to die in the battle if need be with our backs bent under the Gospel plow and our bodies worn out in ministry for the masses who need the Gospel of salvation in Christ. “And for this purpose [we] labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within [us]” (Colossians 1:29).
“If you do not wish to be full of regrets when you are obliged to lie still, work while you can.” — Charles Spurgeon
How little chance the Holy Spirit has nowadays. The churches and missionary societies have so bound Him in red tape that they practically ask Him to sit in a corner while they do the work themselves. — C.T. Studd