Recently, I’ve been writing about the trend of short-term mission bashing that has gone around on the internet. It may seem wise to take funds from a mission trip’s expenses and send them directly to local believers to carry out the work of the church. There is a trend of Christians going overseas and doing great humanitarian work, but they leave out the Gospel. Here are 3 things to keep yourself from being a religious humanitarian group:
1. Do Not Be Content To Just Be Known As The Christian Group
Have you ever noticed how easy it is for someone to be called a “Christian”? Real ones, fake ones, heretics, and cults often claim to be Christians but how do we discern who the genuine disciples are? How does the world discern who the real disciples of Jesus are?
As missionaries, we must be intentionally sharing the Gospel that lifts up Christ over our local church, mission agency, or denomination. The whole reason we are there is not to recruit members into our social club, but to be the mouthpiece for the Gospel that transforms lives.
2. Give The Explicit Gospel
People need to hear the basics of the Gospel. They don’t have to understand what supralapsarianism is and neither do you, but you be sharing the following information with people:
- There is one holy God who created everything in the universe, including people
- That men rebelled against God and created a barrier called sin which keeps us from knowing God
- Sin earns death and death means eternal separation from God in a place that the Bible calls Hell.
- Because God loves us so much, He sent His son Jesus to live a perfect life on Earth, die a terrible death on a cross (which paid for our earned death), and then Jesus raised from the dead three days later to show His power over sin and death. After this, He showed himself to his disciples and then rose into Heaven to prepare an eternal home for us.
- Jesus offers us a new life of sacrificing our old selves and surrendering to God’s desires for our life. This means that our rebellious nature has to die. Those who accept this offer are His disciples, known as The Church. The Church’s mission is to share this good news with the whole world!
- In this new life, we live to love God and love other people by following Jesus’ example.
- One day, Jesus will return to bring those who are still alive to be with Him in Heaven and all of His disciples who have died will already be there with Him without suffering in Hell
3. Be Intentional in Connecting Your Good Works To The Grace Of God
It’s important for people to hear that the things we are doing there are an outpouring of God’s love for them because He has loved us. Often, we assume that people will figure it out on there own, but we need to make this very clear to them. We are not saved by doing these things, but we do these things because we have been saved and shown the love of God
4. Do Not Be Content to Stay Within The Christian Group
In order to spread the Gospel, we need to spend time and interactions with people who are not saved and transform those conversations into eternally focused ones. We tend to want to perform tasks on trips without sharing the Gospel. Even among locals, there can be people groups that they do not like associating with or are more difficult or dangerous to be around. These are the very people that need the Gospel.