Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Missionaries or Nationals – Not Either/Or, but Both/And



This is God’s world and too often we divide ourselves by countries or borders.   We say, “Let the Indians take care of themselves.” Or the Africans. Or the Filipinos. Or the Cambodians. “Let them reach their own countries.”  The problem is there are three billion people who have no Christian neighbor to bring the gospel to them. Someone has to leave their own country, village, or town and cross a border to share the gospel.

We need to send missionaries and support nationals.  In India, the most unreached area of the world, we can support nationals, but there are not enough Christian nationals! We need to pray that God will raise up workers from whatever culture at whatever cost to send missionaries to India, Malawi, Uganda, and the Philippines, which now has 100 million people with only 10% being evangelical!

Making money the issue is sinful disobedience and foolishness. It may be cheaper to support a national, but that does not excuse us from the responsibility of going into all the world. Churches worldwide should ask God to raise up workers from among them, in addition to supporting nationals who do not have the means for local support.  It is not either/or, but both/and. We must reach people around us as well as those beyond us with the glorious gospel of Christ.

So, throw away the “support nationals only” books, look at Scripture, and ask two questions:  What Filipino, Cambodian, or Indian would God have me support, and also ask, who in our local church should we trust the Lord to send out with the glorious gospel of salvation in Christ alone?

Let’s not just send our dollars but also in obedience, send our sons and daughters.

Money is not the issue, but obedience!

1 comment:

Rick Malm said...

This is so right on I want to shout, "Yes!"

At the risk of looking self-promoting, here is a look at something I wrote on the same topic.
http://www.cten.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Why-not-just-send-nationals.pdf

And a related question - why send missionaries when there are so many lost at home?
http://www.cten.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/2014-May-Why-Send-Missionaries.pdf