We are all called to join God in his work in this world. Whether you are learning, praying, going, sending, welcoming, or mobilizing, we all need to be involved. Will you pray about how and where God wants to use you?
No matter where we are on the journey of involvement in missions, we all need to learn more of God’s heart and purposes for the world. Whether we read general history or current events about other cultures, or we read specific prayer requests from missionaries, learning will also involve the word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit.
Some ways to learn:
- Take Perspectives on the World Christian Movement . This is a one-semester class starting in January offered at several locations in Cincinnati. See www.perspectives.org and/or talk to Melinda Hickman (Clovernook) or Linda and Joe Lonneman (Harrison) about their experience taking the class last spring.
- Read missionary biographies, books about countries of interest to you, or Operation World
Prayer is essential to the work God does in the world. Intercessors lift the “goers” and the people they serve before the throne of God. J.O. Fraser, a pioneer missionary to the Lisu of China in the early 1900s said: “Christians at home can do as much for foreign missions as those actually on the field . . . . What I covet more than anything is earnest, believing prayer.” Fraser did not experience a breakthrough in his work among the Lisu until he asked his mother back in England to organize a prayer group!
Some ways to pray:
- Join LifeSpring’s Missions Prayer Team by contacting Brook Gumm at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Start your own prayer group for missions.
- Go to www.operationworld.org and pray for a different country each week or each day.
- Sign up to receive a specific missionary’s newsletter and pray for them after you have read it.
Did you know that today missionaries are being sent FROM almost every country on earth TO every country on earth? Whether it’s for a few weeks or a lifetime, those who are willing to step out in faith join with God in bringing the gospel to every nation.
Some ways to go:
- Go long-term as a cross-cultural missionary.
- Go for a two-year term.
- Go on one of LifeSpring’s short-term mission trips to visit one of our five strategic partners.
- College students may be interested to know that Christian Missionary Fellowship offers a Reach Summer Internship in many countries including the Mathare Valley in Kenya. See http://www.cmfi.org/serve/howcaniserve/reach/
- Use your job to share the gospel among the nations.
Since the time of the Apostle Paul, missionaries haven’t just gone, they have been sent. They have been supported by God’s people. Sending involves giving money, time, and encouragement to those who are on the mission field.
Some ways to send:
- When you give a tithe to LifeSpring, part of that money goes to support our missionaries, both local and international. See http://lifespringchristian.org/missions/ for a list of who we as a church currently support.
- Financially support a missionary or missions agency of your choice.
- Encourage missionaries through sending packages, letters, emails, or calling.
- When missionaries you know return to the US, they may need support such as housing, meals, and transportation.
The world is coming to us. The presence of internationals living in our communities provides a golden opportunity to share the gospel and show the love of Christ. People come to the US as visitors, immigrants, refugees, and students. Many of the international students on our college campuses come from countries which prohibit Christian missionaries, making it especially important that they meet Christians while here.
Some ways to welcome:
- Introduce yourself to internationals living in your community.
- Volunteer with International Friendships Inc ( https://cincy.ifipartners.org/) to connect with international students and scholars at the University of Cincinnati. Opportunities include hosting internationals in your home for a meal, attending or leading Bible studies, going on short trips together, and attending other events to get to know one another. Several LifeSpring members are involved in this ministry.
- Volunteer to help refugees, many of whom are being resettled in neighborhoods close to our church building. Catholic Charities of Southwest Ohio is the resettlement agency for our area, and there are several helping organizations, including Finneytown Together and Heartfelt Tidbits. All need volunteers to befriend refugee families, teach English, help people acclimate to American culture, etc.
The Christian church must be mobilized to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. People who are mobilizers “light the fire” and call God’s people to action, encouraging involvement in God’s worldwide redemptive purposes. Mobilizers are called to disciple, teach, organize, mentor, and support those God has moved. It’s a vital role.
Some ways to mobilize:
- Invite a friend to join you on a short-term mission trip.
- Advocate for a people group or cause.
- Bring a missions-focused study or video to your LifeGroup or Sunday school class.
Article by Melinda Hickman, based on “Six Ways to Reach God’s World” pamphlet distributed by Perspectives on the World Christian Movement