Two weeks ago Pastor Øystein Gjerme wrote a great little article about the need to regain a heart for missions.
Norway has always been a nation with a strong focus on missions, sending missionaries and supporting missional work overseas financially.
Yet today there is a growing sense that we have lost some ground in this area.
As the pastor of a local church, I want my church to love missions. Wether we are talking about sharing the gospel with our neighbours or supporting church planters in India.
I believe a healthy church is a church that loves missions.
I also know that its easy to feel a distance to missions work, especially when we are talking about things that are happening on the other side of the world.
I am writing this blog sitting in New Dehli after a few days working together with local pastors and leaders pioneering a new work in Varanasi. Here are a few simple thoughts on how we can keep our fire for missions burning brightly in the local church.
1. Pray weekly for the work your church supports.
I have noticed something when I pray. Even when I am praying for specific requests or for others. I am one getting changed by my prayers. Time and time again it is my own heart that ends up receiving heart surgery.
When you pray for the work your church supports, you start to care. Gods heart for this place, people and work gets ahold of your heart. There is nothing that set your heart aflame for missions than prayer.
A practical tip is to get a hold of a map, find out the names of the leaders so that you can pray for them specifically. Ask the church for pray requests.
2. Give regularly!
You usually care for what you give to. Jesus said it like this, where your treasure is thats where you heart is.
When we regularly give to missions we are telling our heart this is important to us.
3. Theres nothing like a missionsteam trip.
Seriously there is nothing like travelling as a team on a missions trip.
If you want to develop your churches passion for missions there is no better way than sending short term teams. Obviously in Norway short means a week to ten days, but honestly you dont need much longer. Being able to see the work there church supports is a gamechanger. When something is no longer distant but up close and personal we fall in love. Meeting the people, eating the food, seeing the needs. Praying and worshipping together, seeing what God is doing in another part of the world is like drinking a Redbull missions drink. It is energizing creating a buzz for what the church is all about Matt 28.
A team from our church travelled to India last easter, and seeing what it did in there lives was such a great encouragement. A team trip is also a great place for everyone to take new steps of faith.
4. Have a regular focus on missions in the life of the church.
A guess its like everything, if we dont talk about it we forget it.
Somebody once said that we have to be reminded about the vision of the church once a month, because vision leaks. Wether or not its once a month, or once every six weeks is not the point. The point is we need to reminded. Its the same with missions, we need to be reminded. We need to hear the stories, be aware of the needs. And as a congregation pray for work that we have committed to support.
Praying for local churches everywhere to catch a fresh fire for missions
Source: Mark Wootton Blog