Monday, January 14, 2013

The Call of Mission and Outreach

Read Luke 14: 15-24

There is an energy and excitement in the life of the church on the mission frontier which isn’t easily explained and is best understood by personal experience. You can hear the story told by another, or read an exciting account of mission and ministry, or read it in the history of the Church. But, similar to the biblical stories of faith, there is a vast difference between a conversation about God at work and our own personal experience of God at work.

Occasionally a community of faith will find a renewal and new vitality as they respond to God’s call and the needs of the community. Surprisingly, such a church might attempt what seems impossible.

“Dietrich Bonhoeffer, writing from the crucible of a Nazi prison, stated that, ‘The church is the church only when it exists for others.’” (Faithful Witnesses, page 67)

Once upon a time the call to be a missionary was a call to distant land. While that is still a huge need (do you know about the 10/40 Window or the numbers of people groups that have never heard the Gospel once?) there are more and more people in secular society who pass by the churches which have become quaint museums, yet which have little standing or voice in a community. The great need is for us to see the Kingdom of God at work in our own community, and for us to respond to our work in the emerging kingdom. Whether we are laity or clergy the call to mission, to evangelism, and to outreach still rings out as a great need for our community and for our church. The call to actively build bridges of reconciliation with God and between people stills bids us to accept the challenge, the risk, and the reward.

"In the vast plain to the north I have sometimes seen, in the morning sun, the smoke of a thousand villages where no missionary has ever been" — Robert Moffat, 19th Century missionary who inspired David Livingstone.

Ask yourself: As you drive our city streets what do you see? What neighborhoods and homes do you see in our community that are mission frontiers requiring a worker of God to help? Who are the messengers of God for our town?

D. T. Niles, Sri Lankan Methodist minister, district evangelist, and hymn writer, lived 1908-1970. “Christianity is just one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.”

Pray for the New Bethlehem Community Center. This partnership goes back many, many years, and has focus in one of the toughest neighborhoods in Augusta. Pray for Sheridan Glaze and their part time staff as they face mounting community challenges and significant needs for assistance.  This historic mission is 100 years old and is the first Bethlehem Center established by Methodist women which then expanded to communities across the south. 

Learn more: NBCC

Be sure to register for the Jan. 26 work day or the Feb. 2 mission seminars so you'll be better equipped to serve effectively in outreach.  Everything you need can be found at

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