Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Missions: Go, Send or be Disobedient

As most of you know I am in the process of raising support for a new church plant in Charlotte. I have approached this task with faith, hesitancy, and sometimes questioning God's timing (economic times in Charlotte and the rest of NC.) But overall, I believe my responsibility is to present the opportunity for those who want to invest in the ministry to do so. Not everyone will or should they.

Today I read an article by Dr. John Piper, one of my favorite preachers. He has a real passion for missions that encourages me.

Read this portion of his article.

... God calls some to be wardens of the mission who watch over it from home. "Wardens" ought to be understood as "senders." Consider Romans 15:24. Paul says he aims to go to Spain, which was wholly unreached as far as we know: "I hope to see you in passing...and to be helped on my journey there by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a while."

This is important because of what he does not say and what he does say. He does not say: "Everyone in Rome who is obedient to the Great Commission will go with me to Spain, or will go to some other unreached place or people group." What he does say, in effect, is: "My hope is that you will refresh me and then help me in my mission to Spain." In other words, he calls the church in Rome to be senders, wardens of the mission. He wants them to be partners in his mission, supporters of this God-exalting work.

So, you have three possibilities in world missions. You can be a goer, a sender, or disobedient. The Bible does not assume that everyone goes. But it does assume that the ones who do not go care about goers and support goers and pray for goers and hold the rope of the goers. Paul was linked with many churches, and they sent support to him over and over again. So it should be with every church and its missionaries.


Dr. John Piper is pastor for preaching and vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is author of Let the Nations Be Glad!

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