Wednesday, December 3, 2008

11 Characteristics of Successful Churches - 4. Missions

Missions is Mandatory

Saying the words "missions" or "missionary" to many people in the church it conjures up images of never-ending slideshows illustrating the oppressive need of people who live in mud huts and eat bugs out of either preference or necesity. Of course, missionaries living in places like Hawaii and France have a much more difficult time demonstrating that the work they do is really "missionary" work.

Unfortunately, for many of us, our experiences have created a false idea of what missions in the church really looks like. For a lot of people it is just writing a check once a month or promising to pray for someone you'll likely never see again.

No longer constrained to mud huts on the other side of the world, missions has become a reality in the day to day lives of the people in many of the churches we have visited. It shows itself through tales of evangelistic efforts from people within the local church, service efforts to minister to the local community, or through the emphasis on overseas missions. Different local churches have their focus on differing parts of the overall unifying mission of the Church.

While missions to the "mud huts" must continue, there is a real need to share the gospel through word and deed in the steel and glass "huts" where many of us live and work every day.

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