Friday, March 8, 2024

Like Is a Mission Trip. Take It

This is one of my all-time favorite books on missions and evangelism. I'm going to reread it this weekend. 

It was published the year I graduated from Biola. It was John Stott who taught me that the prime agency of missions is not the occasional evangelistic crusade or the formal mission board but rather the regular people of the church. "Every member missions," is the term. Each member of the congregation must get deeply involved. 

But what should you do? Missions is simply being sensitive to the leading of the Spirit. You go through the doors he opens. It doesn't matter whether that's across the street or across the world. Here's something else to consider. Missions is leveraging your special gifts and abilities for the sake of evangelism. I recall one of my 3 trips to Armenia. On this trip I had been asked to teach at the Baptist seminary there. But when the Armenian Orthodox seminary heard that I was I coming, I received a gracious invitation from their dean to speak to their assembled seminarians. 

Then something even more surprising happened. The University of Yerevan's department of linguistics asked me to lecture to their students. I'm not sure why. My guess is that they had heard that I was the author of several books with the word "linguistics" in their titles and assumed that I was an expert on the subject (which I definitely am not!). Now remember, this is a secular university. But the Lord used my training in ancient Greek along with my publications to open a door for the gospel that boggles my mind to this day. 

Many of these students are from neighboring Iran. 

I have always considered classroom teaching to be my main calling in life. But God has also called me to write, and I have tried to obey him. And though I do not think I have the gift of evangelism, I want to keep being involved in world evangelization until the day I die. Can there be any greater joy than helping someone come "from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God"? 

My friend, life is a mission trip. Take it. Regardless of your location or your vocation!