There is a small people group a northeastern province of Cambodia known as the Broa people. A family from the Midwest lives among them, with the goal of teaching them about Jesus and helping to establish a sustainable church with indigenous leadership. Across the world, on the campus of the University of Minnesota, there is a small ministry dedicated to reaching out to the Chinese students who have come to the United States to study. And in Iowa, a small church has dedicated itself to a new vision regarding missions and have chosen to partner with a young couple who are committed to work among an unreached people group in Papua New Guinea.
These are all true stories, and all ways for a person to engage in missions. We often hear about missions, whether it be an announcement from the missions committee, a prayer request in the bulletin, a missionary in town for a visit or a request for financial support. It can feel intimidating and overwhelming at times, because missions can feel big and distant and far removed from our daily lives. That is why I am thankful for the video series, 6 Ways to Reach God's World. If you have been wondering about how you can be involved in missions, then this video series is perfect for you.
Who made the video series?
The video series was created by OMF International, in partnership with The Traveling Team and Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. All three are organizations that are doing really good work and whom I really appreciate. OMF (Overseas Mission Fellowship) was originally known as China Inland Mission and is committed to helping missionaries get to the field and serve among unreached people groups. The Traveling Team is a mobilizing ministry that travels to campuses and works with ministries like Cru, to help inform college students about world missions. And Perspectives is a 15-week course, created by the US Center for World Missions. There is no better way to learn about missions than taking this course.
Three organizations, all of whom are serving God faithfully to help God's people engage in God's mission to see the gospel spread to every tribe, tongue and nation.
What are the 6 Ways to Reach?
The video series is designed around 6 Ways that people can be involved in missions. There is an intro video, which I have included below. And there six more videos, one for each way. Each video is about five or six minutes long, and you can download study guides at the bottom of the page. Watch them on your own, or watch them with a small group of people, and use the study guides to help you reflect on the content and prompt discussion.
Briefly, here are the six ways:
Learning means that we invest time and energy into gaining a better understanding of world missions. This might mean, for example, taking the Perspectives course or reading a biography of a missionary.
Praying for missions is an easy way to get involved. Whether it is praying for an unreached people group, for a missionary or for the persecuted church, we can always pray.
Going is one of the more commonly known ways of being involved with missions. For some, this means taking part in a short-term missions trip, or for others God may call them to long-term missions work.
Sending is a crucial way for us to be involved in missions. For every missionary on the field, there is a whole team of people who help to send them. Whether through financial giving or intentional care, sending is a great way to be involved.
Welcoming is an often overlooked way to be involved. God is bringing the nations to us in the form of international students, immigrants and refugees. Sometimes they come from countries we cannot access, or locations we do not feel called to go. But we can be hospitable to the sojourner who is now among us. We can lovingly welcome them here and share the gospel with them along the way.
Mobilizing means that you help to get others involved. Through mobilizing, you have the ability to multiply your efforts by getting more people trained, knowledgeable, praying and sent. Among the other ways to be involved, I feel called to be a mobilizer.
Here is a short video that summarizes each of these six ways, and if you want to watch all of the videos, you can click here:
My recommended next steps
This may feel somewhat overwhelming. Before you read this post, you may have felt like you barely knew how to be involved. Now, you might feel like there are way too many ways, and you can not decide where to begin. Allow me to suggest two next steps for you.. By all means, you can choose different next steps, but here are a couple to consider.
Pray for the nations
Begin to pray for unreached people groups on a regular basis. You can start by visiting Joshuaproject.net. It is a great resource, with profiles about nearly every people group in the world. It shares about their primary religion, progress of the gospel and ways you can pray for them. They have a tab that says "pray" along the top, and that is a great place to start. They also have an app that you can download here. If you have a smartphone, download the app and begin praying for the nations today.
Take the Perspectives Course
Perspectives on the World Christian Movement is a 15-week, college level course that is designed to teach you about the Biblical, Historical, Cultural and Strategic perspectives on missions. Taking the course does require a fair amount of work, so you need to be prepared. But if you are able and willing to make the investment, it will be a significant help in your understanding of God's global mission to reach the nations. Look for a course near you, and sign up to take it this fall.
Our role is participation
One final reminder is that that our role in God's mission is participation. I wrote an entire post on this, which you can read here. But briefly, it is important to remember that it is not our job to save the whole world. When you begin reading about unreached people groups, you may feel overwhelmed. When you think about the billions of people who have not heard the gospel, the task will feel daunting. But we must remember that it is not our job alone to complete. This is God's mission, and one which He will complete. We have the privilege of participating. God does not need us, but he has invited us to be part of spreading a passion for His glory to the ends of the earth. Pray and consider how God is calling you to participate this week