Full Time Mission Opportunities - Reach the Nations and Your Community

Use the phrase “reach the nations” and right off the bat you lose most of your audience. It’s like a vegetarian menu at a Brazilian steak house. There are very few in the room that want what you’re selling. Like a vegetarian diet, the church agrees that reaching the nations is probably a good idea, but embracing it is a whole other issue. So what’s the problem church, are we unconvinced, not motivated, unaware, or maybe all of these? Why do many of us remain unengaged in reaching the nations?

My wife and I have two very different diets. As far back as I remember she has always eaten healthier than me. I remember when we first began dating she would order salads and fish, while I got the steak and baked potato. I eat eggs for breakfast and she prefers yogurt and fruit. So guess who has a weight problem? Why, because you are what you eat. My daily eating habits impact my health, and my health then impacts my lifestyle. Our ability as a church to reach the nations is impacted by our daily habits, and our daily habits have disconnected us from the Great Commission.

There are several obvious spiritual habits that if practiced regularly will strengthen, encourage and direct believers. Regular times of prayer, bible study and church attendance are the more obvious habits. A less obvious habit is a lifestyle of evangelism, and it may have the biggest impact on our participation in reaching the nations. So what is lifestyle evangelism, and how is it connected with reaching the nations?

Lifestyle evangelism is putting Christ on display in every area of our lives, and sharing the good news as those around us respond. Often we wrongly compartmentalize our lives into the sacred and the secular, allowing us to turn on and off our witness. In reality everywhere we go and everything we do is sacred, because the Holy Spirit is in us and directing our steps. So no matter where we are, it can be a potential moment to plant, water, harvest, or disciple. John 1:14 says, “Jesus dwelt among us.” He left heaven and entered into full-time ministry among those around Him. We are called to live as He lived, and that means we dwell among the people God has placed in our lives, full-time ministry right? And like Christ we demonstrate the Father’s love to those we dwell amongst. Not a couple hours a week, or one day a week, but like Christ, for a lifetime.

Lifestyle evangelism is a daily spiritual habit that will often lead the church towards reaching the nations. Sometimes a church engages in local evangelism and it sparks a fire for global evangelism. Other times a church gets a global perspective from a mission trip, or a conference and it lights a fire for local evangelism. The point is, the two go hand in hand. If you want to be a church that reaches the nations, you need to be engaged locally. Not just with an evangelism program, although programs can be effective. But rather as a church made up of individuals who seize the daily moments in their lives, and glorify the Father by what they do and say to those they dwell amongst.

You’ve heard the phrase think globally, act locally. Evangelize and make disciples where you are, being sure to give your disciples a global perspective. Help them find their role in reaching the nations by modeling giving, praying, going, encouraging, and mobilizing. The phrase reach the nations should always inspire us to make Christ known both near and far, because the two are inseparably connected.