By Scott Logsdon
Not everyone in your church will be called to serve full-time in international missions or even go on a short-term trip. But everyone can be involved in some way. Here are three practices for your church to support God’s mission in the world.
This one may seem obvious, but it is a way that everyone can be involved in international missions. Learn about other countries, languages, and cultures to discover the greatest needs of those people and pray for those needs. Be attentive to people of different cultures God has placed around you in your community. Study their culture to pray for and serve them, and let it change your heart so that you can become a trusted friend. Also, connect with the gospel messengers your church supports around the world and commit to praying for their needs as well as those with whom they are serving and sharing the gospel.
Another way to support international missions is through giving. The most obvious way to give is financially to support gospel messengers and churches who serve around the globe. This support may be for individual needs or for projects. You can also give your time and talents, and there may be some overlap of a person’s giving with going. Giving your time may involve going on a short-term trip, but it may also include using your gifts and abilities to initiate or support a missions projects in your community or abroad.
Going on an international missions trip is a great way to experience the life of those who live in another place without access to the gospel. You will be amazed at how your senses are overwhelmed with the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of another culture. You will see firsthand the deep physical, emotional, and spiritual needs that these people have and develop new friendships that will continue long after your time there. Often, you will have the opportunity to make an eternal impact through your participation on a trip.
For whatever length of time you go, remember that our aim in international missions is the ongoing spread of the gospel by establishing and supporting healthy churches. Whatever you do, play some sort of role in that. Even for a short period of time, your presence in another place where there are few churches or Christians can help to grow the footprint of Christianity in that place. By going, you can help to spread the aroma of life in the gospel to people who right now are dying to hear it.