In a recent Harvest 365 post, Dr. JoAnn Butrin makes a compelling case for viewing missions as a fundamental purpose of the church. In her view, a church, does not "do missions". Instead, a church is missions. The mission statement of a church cannot, be definition, be separated from missions, the primary disciple making mandate that Jesus gave His Body, the Church.
I agree with Dr. Butrin's assessment. With a church-is-missions mindset, there exists no "Missions Department" of a church because missions is embedded in every group or activity of the church, like DNA is present in every cell of a person's body.
Sending missionaries to the world and to every people group in the USA is hard work, it is expensive, and it requires unceasing devotion. If missions is just one thing we do, we will fall short. But, if we embrace the mandate as a fundamental purpose, and with the Spirit empowering us, Jesus will build the Church.
What do you think?
Click here to read the full article by Dr. Butrin on Harvest 365.
Missionary itineration brings us, for a couple of weeks, to the state of Illinois, where I was raised and where Ruth and I spent many happy years in ministry. It has been wonderful to renew friendships and make new acquaintances across the state.
In two weeks we have traveled approximately 2,500 miles across the state. We have seen a lot of corn. And that corn is nearer to harvest with each passing day. I can't help but think repeatedly of the words of Jesus: "Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, then comes the harvest'? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest." (John 4:35, ESV)
The harvest has not caught a single farmer by surprise. For an entire year they have worked for this opportunity. They are ready and waiting for the harvest to become ready.
For followers of Jesus, harvest also speaks salvation, the wonder of God's grace that forgives, restores, and brings the lost into the family of God. Harvest is what we long for, live for, and work for. There has never been a greater opportunity to fill heaven with harvest than we have today.
But one over-arching need remains. The workforce. "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few," Jesus said. "Pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." How important is it that we pray for laborers? Jesus issued this instruction to his disciples before he sent them out themselves.
As we have been driving by miles and miles of unharvested corn, I cannot help but think of the urgency of the hour. The harvest is ready. Are we?
Will you join us in praying for the Lord to send laborers?
Our missions assignment with Global University is connected to the Graduate School of Theology. The Graduate School strategically invests in leaders with exceptional anointing and skills that influence the national church in which they are serving, and the nations themselves.
Please click here to see one report of the Graduate School's growth.
David L. DeGarmo (D. Min.) serves Global University as Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Theology. Along with his wife Ruth, he is also a U.S. Missionary. He has extensive experience as an educator, missionary, and pastor.
David writes an additional blog on a variety of topics. Check it out...