November has always been “Missions Emphasis Month” at Crossroads. We spend our time throughout the month preaching and teaching about missions, praying especially for our missionaries/for the opportunity to add new missionaries to our mission family, and looking for ways to do missions in our own communities, area, and region.
It is an exciting time for us and in the end we take our faith promise offering that gives us budget direction for the next year.
However, in this time that is traditional in our church (as it is in many around the country), I want to remind us of five thoughts about missions:
- Missions is about more than money. If all we did during our missions emphasis month was to attempt to raise money, we would be denying the bulk of the great commission. Emphasizing missions is about encouraging everyone to participate in all aspects of the commission as they are led of the Holy Spirit.
- Missions is about more than personalities. One of the reasons we do not fill our calendar with Missionaries throughout the month is to avoid the “beauty contest” approach to missions. The prophet Samuel was warned by God that while man looks on the outward appearance that he looks on the heart. It is within the nature of all humans to be persuaded by look, skill set, etc. and that is not what our emphasis should be.
- Missions is about more than demographics. Where God is leading missionaries to go should have nothing to do with whether they are worthy of support. Too much time is spent “picking winners” than of simply following God’s lead.
- Missions is about more than “a burden.” Too many people think that if they are “burdened” for missions and missionaries that their part in the process is complete. While a burden for missions is a great thing to have, if it stands alone without effort it, life faith without works, is dead.
- Missions is about more than money. Oh, wait, I already said that … but … with all the emphasis on the missions budget and the faith promise offering, I think that this needs to be said again!! The commission was give to the church to fulfill, not just fund. We should become willing vessels, fit for the Master’s use to perform the activities of missions at work, in the neighborhood, and at play. When we step up and take our place, God will bless with opportunities to help others as well!
Well, my prayer is that this Missions Emphasis Month will produces a missions program led by the Spirit of Holy God and one that can be used of God for his glory and to his praise!