• June 3, 2024

God’s Blueprint for Missions

There was a time when the Western world seemed to be saturated with churches. Skylines were filled with steeples. Even small towns were dotted with chapels. Then, some people began to think that bigger was always better. We were impressed by massive evangelistic meetings and megachurches. People then began to look for churches that had the best preacher or the best programs that served them. Many left for seemingly greener pastures, while others fell away entirely. Faithful churches had to close their doors. In the midst of it all, we seemed to lose God’s blueprint for His mission.

When we step back and look at the broad themes of the Bible, we see that God calls HIs people out again and again. But He calls them out in order to gather them in (Ex. 23:14, Ps. 95; Acts 20:7, Acts 20:31, Mark 10:21). For example, he called Adam and Eve out of hiding and brought them back to Himself. He called Noah to build an ark and then gathered his family inside to escape an evil world. He called Israel out of Egypt gathering them into the promised land. And then Christ called His disciples to leave everything behind and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19-20).

By having as our vision, a church in every village, we humbly want to be used by God to reclaim His missional blueprint. Regardless of how big or small a church is, what matters is that it is faithful and fruitful. Native missionaries help scatter the seed of God’s Word broadly and start new churches that transform communities all across Asia. In the Philippines for example, Roberto and Nikki are seeing entire households set free from alcohol, drugs, and more as people come to faith in Jesus Christ.

Janelle worked in Saudi Arabia for many years sending money back to the Philippines to care for her four children. Her children often prayed for their mom to return back home. Last month, their prayer was answered. Janelle returned home. While in Saudi Arabia, her health declined with gallstones continuing to appear and a lump on her neck that would not stop growing. So she returned to the Philippines. Roberto and Nikki visited her every week to share the gospel. After 4 weeks, Janell accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. Jesus has now given her His abiding peace to help her walk through the many health problems she has.

Jesus appointed the church to advance His kingdom (Matt. 16:17-18). One reason why Janelle came to faith was because in her community there was a new church planted that focused on evangelizing the lost. Several studies demonstrate that the average new church gains most of its new members (60-80 percent) from the ranks of people who are not attending any worshipping body. Churches over ten to fifteen years of age gain 80-90 percent of new members by transfer only. One good reason to plant new churches is because they have a fervent zeal to take the gospel to the unreached.

A Church in Every Village,
Breck Merkle