By Vivian Bricker, Crosswalk.com
International missions are missions that go beyond your home country. It is very fulfilling, exciting, and joyful to go on an international mission for Christ. Within the past few years, international missions have been downplayed. Many believe that international missions are a thing of the past, which has caused many Christians to lose focus on their importance. The truth is that international missions are extremely important and need to continue in order to take Jesus’ Gospel to places it has never been before. Here are five reasons why international missions are crucial:
1. God Commands Us
God commands everyone to go and share the Gospel. Jesus tells us, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20). As Christians, we have two options: to obey or to disobey. Obeying God means going out to do missions. Disobeying God means not taking God’s name out into the world.
It is important to obey God and share the Gospel past our own shores. The devil wants to keep us stagnant, which he can do if we choose to stay in the comforts of our own home and not share the Gospel. It is our responsibility to share the Gospel internationally with those in other places across the world. It is tempting to stay at home because that is where we are comfortable, yet God calls us out of our comfort zone to proclaim His Gospel. There are some people who are called to domestic missions, whereas others are called to international missions. Each one is equally important; however, there is a difference between staying at home for comfort and staying in your own home country for domestic missions. It is important to analyze our motives in all things, including missionary work. All are commanded to share the Gospel, but it is up to us to obey.
2. Taking Christ’s Name to Those Who Have Not Heard About Him
A second reason why international missions are crucial is that they allow us to take Christ’s name to those who have not heard about Him. The entire world is in need of the Gospel; however, the 10/40 window is most in need. The 10/40 window crosses North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, which is approximately between 10 degrees North and 40 degrees North latitude. The area of the 10/40 window is known to be the least reached in the entire world.
How are the lost in the 10/40 window supposed to accept Jesus if they have never heard about Him in a way that is meaningful and understandable to them? It is our responsibility and our joy as Christians to take the Gospel to these unreached areas. Paul says, “And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’” (Romans 10:15). According to the Joshua Project, 42.5% of the world is unreached, 21.7% is partially reached, 18.8% is significantly reached, 10.4% is superficially reached, and 6.5% is minimally reached. With percentages such as these, it should motivate us all the more to share the Gospel abroad.
3. The Harvest is Plentiful, But the Workers Are Few
The Lord tells His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few” (Matthew 9:37-38). Jesus spoke these words to His disciples over two-thousand years ago, yet His words still apply to us today. As established in my previous point, most of the world is unreached. As the Lord tells us, the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. The harvest is the mission field and we are the workers. There is still a high need for international missionaries. Pray to God, hear from Him through reading the Bible, and consult other Christians to see if God wants you to go out into the harvest field soon. God desires all people to share the Gospel, yet you have to discover where your mission field is.
4. Bring God Glory
A fourth reason why international missions are crucial is that they bring glory to God. Many Christians have left their hometowns and the comforts of the known to become international missionaries. Examples include Lilias Trotter, Amy Carmichael, and Gladys Aylward. Each of these missionaries left their homes to proclaim Christ’s name to distant shores. Lilias Trotter served in Algeria, Amy Carmichael served in India, and Gladys Aylward served in China.
When we serve God through missions, we are bringing glory to God. In everything we do, we should strive to glorify God in our words, actions, and behavior. Traveling abroad to share Christ with the lost brings God glory because we are demonstrating in our actions that God is worth our time and energy. There is no greater honor than to share the Gospel with others. Going on international missions can be scary and frightening; however, God is always there with us. Living across the world is going to be different than what we are accustomed to, yet serving God will bring the most joy to our hearts and will bring the most glory to God. Paul was constantly traveling and taking the Gospel to new locations, yet he never complained. Paul was beaten, shipwrecked, and imprisoned many times, yet he counted it all as joy to serve the Lord. In our own missionary endeavors, we need to reflect the same joy.
5. Gives You a Different Perspective
A fifth reason why international missions are crucial is that they give you a different perspective on life. When I went on a missionary internship to England a few years back, I was surprised by how different life was in England as compared to America. It seemed to me that England was similar to America because after all, we speak the same language, but I was wrong. England and America are two radically different places, and according to the Brits, Americans do not speak English; we speak “American.” Brits speak “English,” but we do not. No matter where you go on international missions, you need to be aware that the location you are going to has its own distinct culture, beliefs, and traditions. It is not wise to go into a new area and not know anything about the culture.
Read, research, and learn as much as you can on your desired location prior to going on the mission. When you participate in international missions, you will gain a different perspective of life because you will be living in a completely different culture with different people. International missions help teach you that even though we may have different cultures and we look different, we are all still the same.
We are all human beings created by the One and only God. Once you participate in international missions, you will have the desire to go back once you return home. I know from my own personal experience that when I got home, I could not stop thinking of England and returning back there. I can guarantee that you will feel the same as me once you participate in international missions. The new perspective you have gained from serving in international missions will change your entire life. It will give you more compassion and understanding for others. You will also become more confident in God and better at trusting Him because He has provided for you in so many ways on the mission field. What are you waiting for? Are you ready to serve God internationally this year?
Photo Credit: ©Chuttersnap/Unsplash
Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.