Tears flowed down his cheeks as the pastor opened the service. He announced that, as a church, they had chosen to complete the fund raising needs for a recent MB Mission global church planting team. I listened in awe as the pastor explained to all in attendance their role in reaching the unreached. Here before them was an opportunity to participate in the God’s mission story on the other side of the globe in one of the of neediest countries.
This was only weeks ago. It shouldn’t have surprised me to see a local church with God given courage to go above and beyond the ordinary. I mean, that’s the way God designed it to work since He inspired the book of Acts. But I was blown away at the initiative of this small church on the prairies of rural Canada. Each one of them in that congregation was going do their part in enabling missionaries to carry the love of Jesus to people who otherwise may never have a chance to hear.
There is no formula for missional passion, but here is what I observed in that community.
They had a committed leader – their pastor put his heart into communicating the vision. He embodied a missionary passion that rivaled the missionaries themselves.
They were behind their leadership team – sure they experienced the usual questions and tensions that go along with church leadership consensus. But it did appear to be a healthy buzz rippling through congregation in response to their leaders’ challenge; something like “bring it on, we can totally do this together.”
They wanted to remain relevant and current – the church was hardly new to global mission, they had a rich history of support to a very diverse number of long term missionaries. However, they never stopped dreaming about taking on new initiatives.
The cost to them seemed realistic – the year previous, that church fund raised $43,000 for a short term mission trip in less than a month. To consider a similar amount for determined long term missionaries seemed totally doable.
They desired relationship with front-line missionaries – their commitment went beyond some $$, it included consistent prayer and relationship. The pastor explained their desire, in the upcoming year, to get to know at least one of the missionary families more personally. There would be future visits and much sharing of stories of how God was moving in the new church plant.
The church had invited me to preach, so I did. A message straight out of Acts 10. Talk about preaching to the choir!
While traveling home I wondered how the Lord must feel when he looks down at that little congregation, what did He see?