Paul was not a lone ranger. He consistently looked for partners in ministry. An example of Paul’s partnership philosophy came in his relationship to the church at Philippi.
Scholars tell us that in a little less than 15 years time, the apostle Paul completed his church-planting mission in four major provinces of the Roman Empire. Before 47 A.D., there were no churches in Asia Minor, Macedonia, Achaia, and the region of Galatia. By 60 A.D., Paul could write, “I no longer have any room for work in these regions” (Rom. 15:23).
How did he do it? Was the Apostle Paul a super-human, one-man army for God? Or are there other principles that Paul understood that would help us effectively reach our world for the sake of the gospel?
If you’re like us at Live Global, you love Jesus and get passionate about spreading His name across the globe. But even so, not everyone is called to “go” and be a missionary cross-culturally. As we know from God’s Word, however, every Christian is still called to live missionally.
From Scripture we know that every Christian is called to be intentionally missional, but yet not everyone is called to be a missionary. For the purposes of this blog post, we consider a missionary to be someone who crosses a language, culture, or geographical barrier to go and take the gospel to a group of people—typically people who do not yet know Jesus.
Go, Send, or Disobey?
If you read Matthew 28:19–20, Romans 10:14–17 or Isaiah 52:7–10, it’s easy to see that God desires for believers to play an active role in sharing the gospel with people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. So yes, that means either you “go” as a missionary, intentionally stay and “send” missionaries, or disobey this command of God in Scripture.
You hear stories of refugee families who spend their entire life savings on the slim chance they’ll make it across the sea on a raft to a potentially safer country. You see pictures of war-torn cities destroyed by bombs and pictures of little barefoot kids running down the street covered in scars, dirt, and ash. You listen to news reports about the United States’ new president making executive orders to stop refugees from entering this country.
And you’re a Christian. You love Jesus. Your heart breaks for these refugees who have no hope—not in this life and not in eternity. And you wonder what you can do.
God calls every Christian to be missional, even though He does not call every Christian to be a missionary. So what’s the difference?
A missionary is someone who crosses a language, culture, or geographical barrier to go and take the gospel to a group of people—typically people who do not yet know Jesus.
Being missional is a call given to every Christian throughout the Bible. For example, in Matthew 28:19 it says, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Also see Romans 10:14–17 and Isaiah 52:7–10 which both indicate that God desires to use believers to share the gospel. This call to be missional means that according to God’s Word, every Christian must be intentionally engaged in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with people all around the world, especially those who have not heard yet.
In other words, every Christian should be engaged in global missions.
Is Your Church Engaged in Global Missions?
We know Matthew 28:19-20 is not just a suggestion. It’s a command from Jesus to “go and make disciples of all nations.” And we know that He uses His church as a primary way to fulfill it.
But with limited resources and unlimited opportunities, how can a pastor and missions leaders in the church be more effectively engaged in world missions? We know it can be overwhelming, so here are 10 baby steps for pastors and missions leaders to help get your much missions-ready for blast off.
We think the best way to get your church engaged in global missions is to strategize, streamline, and plan.
“The most effective people aren’t the ones who dabble in a lot of things. The most effective people are the ones who choose a path and travel down it as far as possible.”—Matt Schmucker, 9 Marks
Take a look at your missions budget. Is it all over the place supporting every missionary who sends you a letter? If so, it might be time to reevaluate and prune the branches that aren’t producing fruit so you can better apply your resources to the ones that are.
You or your church is passionate about global missions. You long to be a part of what God is doing through His followers around the globe. And you’ve decided global partnership is for you.
Are you thinking, “Wait, what is global partnership?” No worries. Get more info about global partnership in terms of global missions here.
Maybe you’re just starting to pray about who God might lead you to partner with or maybe you’re almost ready to seal the deal with a specific person. Or maybe you’re someone who has been partnering with a national believer for years and it’s time to reevaluate. Either way, analyzing your global partners will help you optimize your efforts for the Kingdom.
The concept of global partnership starts with a simple belief: God is at work—in amazing ways—in our world. He hasn’t left us on our own, and He’s given us a job to do.
There’s one mission that God’s given to all of us: make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19). But, to carry out that mission, God has given each of us unique roles. Here enters the concept of global partnership.