by Steve Shadrach
You have a race to run. Which one is it? (Heb. 12:1,2)
You might have more than one; but if you are a World Christian you need to have at least one. Here are four opportunities that you can look at, evaluate, and ask God to use you in. Be open to whatever He wants you to do. Be willing to do anything, anytime, anywhere for Him. That is the definition of the Lordship of Christ in our life. Now read and pray and take the baton. It is the race of a lifetime!
1. The GOERS are the front lines warriors
In a sense we are all goers all front line warriors, because Jesus gave us the command to "go and make disciples of all nations". Somehow though, God's distribution plan has not worked out so well! It is estimated that up to 95% of the world's trained Christian workers live in .... good ole' U.S.A. Most people would be willing to go ... but are planning on staying. We need folks who are planning on going ... but are willing to stay, if that is the most strategic thing to do for the Kingdom. Most are waiting for the "liver quiver"(i.e. the emotional "calling" from on high telling them to be a missionary). It's amazing though, that is just about the only area of life that we apply this lightning bolt calling concept to! There are about 600 million active Christians in the world today. 150 million of them are between 22-50 years of age. The estimate is that we only need about 20,000 cross-cultural missionaries to finish reaching every unreached people group.
2. The SENDERS are the vicarious rope holders
There are people who would like to be overseas, but feel called to stay and hold the ropes for those who do go. Out of the 100,000 students who volunteered for missions from 1890-1930 about 20,000 went and 80,000 stayed at home to help fund them. Think if we could get four laymen to team up and each take 1/4th of missionaries support, we would make a ton of progress! Christians' after-tax income in American is between 800-900 billion dollars. We give 2 billion to missions. That's 1/4th of 1 percent. We spend 10 billion on weight reduction programs and more on cosmetics and dog food! To be a financial sender you may have to take a radical look at your lifestyle in order to scale it back and give more to Christ's Global Cause. Senders not only give, but also pray. They can daily shoot prayer arrows around the world asking God to raise up laborers, to empower those that are laboring, and bring about fruit in the unreached areas of the world. You can impact the world right from your living room! Lastly, senders are involved in personal ministry. They can disciple others with a world vision and seek to send them into the harvest field. A World Christian begets World Christians!
3. The WELCOMERS are the ministers of hospitality
There are close to 600,000 international students in the U.S. It's like the Lord told us to go to the world and gave us all these resources, but we instead chose to stay and enjoy the comforts of America. "Well", God says, "If you won't go to them, I'll just bring them to you. Is this close enough?" Our country has become an international melting pot and yet we rudely neglect to reach out to these foreigners. Stats show most international students will come here to study for 4-6 years and NEVER enter (or certainly not eat a meal) in an American's home. They want to, but aren't invited. How would you feel if that happened to you in another country? The temptation to get bitter and cynical is great towards this so-called "Christian nation". We can impact the world right here in our backyard because the world sends their best and brightest (the future leaders they are grooming) right to our doorstep. You can adopt one or more while they are here. Pray for them, love on them, share your life and faith with them. Let them see what your life, family, and faith is all about. See what God will do. Send them back with a vision to reach their own country for Christ.
4. The MOBILIZERS are the strategic motivators
These are the ones who are sounding the alarm. Wouldn't it be more effective to go and wake 100 sleeping fireman to come and put out the blazing building than to just stand there alone throwing your buckets of water on it? These are the ones that yearn to be on the field, but have stayed behind to rally the troops. They form mission committees at their churches. They get people praying and giving and going. They organize short and long-term mission teams. They get books and materials into the Christian's hands. They are sometimes called "pests" or "fanatics" behind their backs! Ralph Winter, founder of the U.S. Center for World Missions, says the highest priority within the Body of Christ right now is for more mobilizers. More men and women in every church, every town, every campus who will help open people eyes to what God is doing around the world and helping people plug into their role. A good definition for mobilization is: "Deploying an army of laborers to the front lines where they are ordering their lives around the Great Commission". These are the ones helping believers find their niche as either goers, senders, welcomers, or mobilizers.