“Why spend all this money going on mission trips to other countries when there is so much work to be done here?” If you are in ministry and have a heart for missions which go hand in hand, you have probably heard this statement. So why go?
This year I went to Haiti on mission for the third time and to Las Vegas during my Spring Break. Both times my husband Robert and I and other members of our church family, Little Flock Baptist Church in Shepherdsville, joined churches there, partnering with them and joining in their effort. In Las Vegas we joined dear friends of ours Pastor Steve Whitt and Jon Labonte as their first mission team since they their church start. I am a schoolteacher, so I join mission trips during my breaks. I do not consider myself a missionary in any form; God just keeps telling me to go, so I do. That’s the answer to the original question and end of article, right? Not so fast.
“What is being done on foreign mission fields could be done right here, “ is another comment that we hear. To that I say, absolutely. That’s exactly what many of our brothers and sisters in Christ are doing. Where do you see yourself ministering in your hometown or neighborhood? Let me share with you some things that are great local mission opportunities:
- Consider prayer walking in your community or neighborhood. Consider asking a neighbor to accompany you. In Haiti we prayer walked, passing by sugar cane fields and by the building where child sacrifices are done. You might think that your neighbor doesn’t quite have that, but there are families considering divorce, families stressed with health, financial, and teen issues, and they desperately need prayer. If you see a neighbor outside, stop and ask him or her if you can pray for him/her. Two women in a neighborhood in Las Vegas prayed for God to bring a church the their area. Not too long after those ladies began to pray and walk, God called our friends Steve and Jon to the exact same neighborhood.
- Consider having some neighbors to your house for coffee, snacks and maybe the start of a small group meeting in your home. Maybe you could just start a prayer group with a light bible study. This could be just you and one other person or several. Talk to your church leadership, and let God lead.
- Have your church consider partnering with a local school. As a teacher, I can testify to the lack of needed resources. Most schools are very open to help from your church. In Las Vegas, our mission team fed a lunch of hot dogs to an entire public elementary school. This was about 1000 students and teachers. How about helping out a teacher by volunteering to read to students? We have had success with this in our hometown.
- Consider having a block party in a community in your city. Partner with another church to do this. It is not about bringing new members into your church but about seeking the lost and bringing them in to our church.
- Consider having a bible study in your home. This might be just you and one neighbor having coffee, or you could invite the entire neighborhood. Talk with your pastor, offer some free food and see what happens.
I am from Tennessee, the Bible belt. You do not need to go far outside of the Bible belt to realize that there are not churches on every corner all over the U.S. The hands and feet of Jesus are needed all over America and the world where the fields are white with harvest and the workers are few. Imagine being a missionary in the U.S. in a region where less than 1% claim to be Christians. How can we ignore this?
Matthew 28:19-20 (NASB)
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Come see me at Tuesday night at Little Flock Baptist Church, Shepherdsville, Kentucky for Renew. See our web site for details. My email: firstname.lastname@example.org