• March 19, 2024

Completing the Great Commission through Native Missionaries

Before Jesus Christ ascended into heaven, He met with His disciples in Galilee. They gathered together in worship and then Jesus spoke to them saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age (Matt. 28:18-20). For over 2,000 years Christ’s church has sought to complete this Great Commission. The church of God has sought to make disciples of Jesus Christ in all countries and among all ethnic groups. And The Glory Project is thankful for the growth of God’s kingdom in the world. The global church is made up of believers from multiple people groups and languages. But still, after 2,000 years, the task is yet to be completed.

So when The Glory Project started, we asked ourselves, what will it take to see the Great Commission complete in our lifetime? How can we strategically get the gospel to all nations? It became clear that sending native missionaries to the unreached is perhaps what is most needed. I came back from the foreign mission field in order to take care of the health needs of my son. We could not get the medical care where we were serving. Ever since then, there was a stirring in my heart knowing God was not finished with me. But I could not go back, so what exactly did God have in store? And then Covid hit worldwide, and political unrest swept across Asia. All of a sudden it dawned on me, foreign missionaries have limited access to many countries in the world. If they can get a visa, they are at the mercy of a foreign government. In a moment’s notice they may have to leave a country for medical reasons, political unrests, or policy change. And if they leave, they may never be welcomed back.

But who remains behind? If the foreign missionary has to leave, who is still in country? Local believers! The local church made up of national believers who speak the language, are citizens, and who love the Lord remain in their homeland. So it is these nationals who need to be mobilized, equipped, and send out as missionaries to reach the unreached. The Glory Project was started to send out native missionaries who will faithfully proclaim the gospel among the unreached in Asia and start churches. We believe native missionaries can finish the Great Commission. How? Because they are serving Christ within the context and culture of their own people. Unlike foreign missionaries, they don’t have to spend years learning a language or a culture, because they have been immersed in it since birth. The Great Commission of Matt. 28:18-20 can be accomplished through native missionaries who call the country they serve in, their home! So next time you think about missions, what about sponsoring a native missionary who will remain on the frontlines of ministry no matter what the world may bring against them. Completing the Great Commission can happen through native missionaries who desire to see their own people come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and King.

Until all have heard, Dr. Breckenridge L. Merkle