The Burden for Missions Begins at Home

Mark Dever: A mark of a healthy church is a biblical understanding of, and practice of, missions. Missions isn’t a biblical word, but it’s a biblical idea. Missions is taking the gospel across boundaries, especially across the boundary of language. And, according to the Bible, this mission is to transform the nature of humanity, and nothing less—to bring us into a reconciled relationship with God, our good Creator and Judge. Missions Begins at Home Self-sacrifice and love of God and others is the seed of missions in the church. You could say that missions begins at home with a concern for the conversion of your family. So teach, befriend, evangelize and disciple your children. Brothers and sisters, have a concern for your friends. Friends share the gospel with friends. “Don’t underestimate how you handicap missions in a church by making evangelism seem optional in the Christian life.” But what does it mean for you to be prepared to share the gospel

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The Biblical Basis for Missions

R.C. Sproul: What is mission, and what is the principal foundation for the mission of the church? The word mission itself comes from the Latin verb missio, which means “to send.” So, literally, missions has to do with sending. In the Scriptures, we see the verb to send being used over and over, in a multitude of ways. But there’s a sense in which the whole life of the church and the whole experience of the Christian are rooted ultimately in some kind of sending that is founded in the authority and the action of God Himself. It is God who institutes, sanctifies, and mandates the mission of the church. One of the most famous passages in the Bible speaks to this mission: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Many people know this verse, but how many know the next verse?

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Dispatches from the Front

Justin Taylor: Jesus reminded us that he will not return until the Gospel is proclaimed to all the peoples of the earth, and that as His witnesses we must take up our cross daily to follow him—wherever that may lead. Both truths are on display in the sixth episode of the Dispatches from the Front DVD series, “The Power of His Rising,” as we see afresh the costly price of grace and the call for risk-taking Gospel ministry. May none of us remain unchanged. Over two billion people in the world have no access to the Gospel—no Bible, no church, no Christians, no hope. Since many of them live in countries closed to traditional missionaries, how will they hear the Good News? One way is that Christ is calling and equipping men and women with skills—professionals—to use their talents to reach people who are hard to get to. The Power of His Rising is an inside look at how this is unfolding

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How Much Is Left to Do in the Great Commission?

  John Piper: We should be dumbfounded at how doable the remaining task of world missions is. Before I show this, let’s clarify some definitions. Missions is not the same as evangelism. Evangelism is sharing the gospel with any unbelievers, and that work will never be done till Jesus comes. Missions, on the other hand, relates to people groups, not just people, and the number is finite and relatively stable — like the “every people, tongue, tribe, and nation” of Revelation 5:9. So missions is crossing a culture, learning a language, and planting the church through preaching the gospel among people groups that have no churches strong enough to evangelize their group. According to the Joshua Project (as of February 16) there are 16,598 people groups in the world. 7,165 of these are “unreached” (fewer than 2% evangelical). Defining things somewhat differently, the research arm of the Southern Baptist International Missions Board estimates 11,310 people groups, of which 6,405 are unreached and 3,100 are “unengaged”

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The Non-Negotiable Centre of Missions

Matt Smethurst in conversation with Zane Pratt, dean of Southern Seminary’s Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism: What do you perceive to be the most common misconception among evangelicals about the place and purpose of missions in Scripture? The most common misconception about the place of missions in Scripture is the idea that mission is somehow optional, or simply one among many items on the church’s agenda. But mission is actually one of the glues holding together the grand narrative of Scripture, and it’s central to the agenda of the church. The most common misconception about the purpose of missions in Scripture is the idea that mission is simply anything useful the church does outside its own walls. It’s certainly true Christ’s disciples seek to obey everything he commanded, including loving our neighbour as ourselves and being zealous for good works. However, the point of the spear of the church’s mission is making disciples, which necessarily involves evangelism and church planting among those who’ve never heard

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The ESV Global Study Bible

Dane Ortlund: We created an all-new set of essays in the back by Christian leaders from around the world–Conrad Mbewe in Zambia, James Kombo in Kenya, Michael Oh in Japan, In Whan Kim in South Korea, Ajith Fernando in Sri Lanka, Ben Intan in Indonesia, Chee-Chiew Lee in Singapore, and others. One of the most strategic elements of this Bible is a two-page for each Bible book, written by international Bible scholars, explaining the global message of that book of the Bible. The GSB also adapts the study notes of the ESV Study Bible, lightly reworked for a global audience. And of course maps, charts, etc. And it will all be available in digital format for those who prefer to utilize the content that way. Here’s the website for the GSB. And here’s a video Crossway produced with Francis Chan introducing it. Francis articulates our own heart for this resource exactly.  

Short documentary of Cape Town 2010

Below is a short documentary of the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization that was held in Cape Town, South Africa, last October. Here’s the intro from the website: Cape Town 2010 has been called the most representative gathering of Christian leaders in the 2000 year history of the Christian movement (Christianity Today).  Four-thousand Christian leaders representing 198 countries attended the Congress in Cape Town, South Africa.  The Congress was brought together by a globalized leadership team from Africa, Egypt, Malaysia, India, North America and elsewhere.  Several thousand more leaders participated in the Congress through the Cape Town GlobaLink, Cape Town Virtual Congress and Lausanne Global Conversation.  Learn more about this gathering by watching this short documentary.   (HT: Matt Perman)