How does the gospel get to the ends of the earth? If your answer to that question is missionaries – those who are trained, supported, and sent out to other cultures by churches and missions entities here in the U.S. – then, of course, you’re right. Our missionaries have been and continue to be critical to the advance of the gospel and reaching the nations. This is why we must continue to support them with our prayers and our giving.
Reaching the Nations
However, the work of getting the gospel to all nations is also happening in ways that may not be on your radar. Consider three of these ways below, and think about how you might support the following missions efforts by praying, giving, or by your own participation:
1. Translation work
While it’s true that someone can hear and believe the gospel without having written resources in their own language, such resources are critical to the long-term spiritual health of individuals and churches. That’s why we have translation teams, or sometimes just individuals, who do the hard work of translating the Bible and Bible-based resources into other languages. Getting these resources to pastors and church leaders is an especially important first step. How else will believers be nourished, if not by the Word of life?
2. Reaching the nations through international immigration
We often think about going to the nations, but the nations continue to come to us. Sometimes they even live in our own neighborhoods. Whether it’s the Chinese student at a nearby college, the Sudanese family on your street that has immigrated to the U.S. for economic or safety reasons, or any number of scenarios, there are opportunities to reach the nations without boarding a plane. Simply opening up your home is a great way to minister to those who who face social and economic challenges. In some cases, these individuals may even come from unreached people groups, so your witness may be more strategic than you know.
3. Missionaries who are international
The United States isn’t the only country with Christians in it, which also means that it’s not the only country that sends out missionaries. Churches across the globe send missionaries across the globe. We should pray that God would continue to raise up men and women from other countries, countries that may even have better access than we do to certain people groups.
Can you think of some other ways the gospel is going forth that we don’t normally think about when we talk about missions?