God's Global Mission: Do Something
When I was eleven, my dad picked me to go with him to church where a missionary would be sharing about her experiences serving in Africa. I remember being mesmerized by the photos and the stories she shared. After just an hour of being exposed to the world of foreign missions, I said to my dad on the way home, “I want to be a missionary when I grow up!”
I have three siblings, but I think I was the only one around that night, so I just “happened” to be the one who attended this event with my dad. This was back in 1974 when our only access to anything about Africa, or any other country for that matter, was National Geographic magazine and World Book Encyclopedia! Hearing from a real person who was actually serving God in a land halfway around the world planted a seed in my heart that God would continue to water over the next 40 years. Ironically, 1974 was the year that the New Wineskins Missionary Network was established by Walter and Louise Hannum in Pasadena, California.
As I look back over my life, I can see how God used different cross-cultural experiences as building blocks to prepare me for my current role as Executive Director of New Wineskins. I never became a missionary, but I did become a mission mobilizer, and I’m so grateful that God opened my eyes and my heart when I was eleven to that great, big world out there with its billions of people still in need of His love, truth, and salvation.
That’s right, 2.1 billion people are part of the 6,700 unreached people groups that still have no chance of hearing the gospel message! They have no Bible in their heart language, no churches, and no one in their community who is a Christian. In addition, there are 2.7 billion people who have access to the gospel, but have still not trusted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. That’s 67% of the world’s current population.
These statistics can tend to overwhelm us and we begin to think “What on earth could I possibly do to help change the current state of ‘the task remaining’ to further expand God’s global mission?” Well, we can’t do everything, but we can each DO SOMETHING! Four areas in which you can take action are Prayer, Care, Share and Dare.
Prayer: We can pray for missionaries who are already in the field. New Wineskins sends out a quarterly prayer calendar so that you can daily pray for specific needs of our Anglican missionaries who serve all over the world. You can sign up below to receive this prayer calendar and join with thousands of others who are praying the same prayers on the same day to strengthen and encourage our missionaries. We can pray for Unreached People Groups (UPGs) by connecting with Joshua Project or Operation World to download their UPG app or sign up to receive a daily email highlighting a specific group. Pray that God will raise up missionaries from your churches to go to where the church doesn’t yet have a presence.
Care: It’s our job to care for the hundreds of missionaries who are already in the field. At least 5,000 missionaries leave the field each year because of the unique stresses they face involving personal, family, social and ministry challenges. We can reverse this trend by forming “Prayer & Care” or PAC groups in our parishes. These groups choose a missionary sent from their own parish or diocese, or from one of the 33 missionary agencies that make up the Anglican Global Mission Partners (AGMP). As groups or as individuals, we can send letters, emails, or care packages to missionaries, and we can call, video chat or even visit these committed missionaries to support the vital work they are doing and help to keep them on the mission field.
Share: We can share our vast resources of time, talent and treasure to help expand the Kingdom of God to every tribe, tongue and nation. We can go on a short-term mission trip or we can send teams from our parishes. I was part of a young church plant in Northern Virginia that sent out 50% of its congregation one summer on five different mission teams. That summer, we sent 100 of our 200 folks out to change the world. Guess what? The people we served were not the only ones changed. Our parishioners’ lives and our entire parish were transformed with a passion to stay engaged in missional activities both locally, domestically in the U.S. and internationally.
We can give. If every Christian committed to the biblical tithe, the church would have an additional $162 billion to use and distribute to relieve global hunger, stop death from preventable diseases, eliminate illiteracy, solve the world’s water and sanitation issues, fully fund overseas mission work and still have billions left over!
Dare: When I was 11, the quickest way to get me to do something that was scary or dangerous was to dare me to do it. So, I’m daring you to find your fit in God’s global mission to reach the 4.8 billion people who have not yet followed Christ. It’s true we can’t do everything, but we can all DO SOMETHING! Each prayer prayed, each act of kindness done, and each dollar donated is a life-changing, world-changing act of obedience. Together, we can make a difference in our complex, multi-cultural world!
Jenny Noyes is the Executive Director of New Wineskins Missionary Network. She is a passionate speaker, writer, and evangelist. When she's not working, Jenny can be found playing tennis with her husband Larry, spending time with her children, and enjoying the great outdoors. You can contact Jenny here.