Journeyman Project Dispatches from the Life of Patrick Fowler: Christianity Explored

3Jan/090

Thoughts from my World Missions class…

The Missional God:
There is a strong case to be made for the viewpoint that God's work in history...through Noah, Abraham, Israel, and the prophets has always been to make people a light to all people for his redeeming purpose. From that perspective, Israel failed in their understanding of that task and recognition of the Messiah, and the task was therefore given to the Gentile nations in the church. If this is an accurate viewpoint, then it begs the question...what will God do when the church gets complacent about being a messenger to the unreached??? Will our complacency usher in the "end times"?

The "true" task of missions:We have commonly defined missions in the past as the task of reaching people in other nations with the message of Christ and establishing churches. Currently there is a movement toward a "missional" church, which sees the people around it as their mission field. While these emphases rightly frame the local and universal need for evangelism, the true missional task that we are given in the New Testament appears to be the exclusive work of taking the gospel to groups of people who have never heard it before. As Paul proclaimed, the task of missions is fullfilled in the act of making disciples among a people where there are no disciples. By this definition, are we doing missions effectively? Where is the call to reach the unreached in our churches today???

The Reality of Persecution and the Purpose of Prayer:
How many people pray for the work of reaching the unreached today? For the peace of nations, the protection of believers, and the establishment of underground churches? How many prayers go out for the salvation of the Islamic peoples? How many are aware that over 200,000 Christians die for their faith each year?

These are all thoughts which compel me to see changes in my own life...I hope they challenge you as well.

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