|ONE CHURCH, EVERY NATION|
Most churches "stockpile" money into their savings accounts, rather than emptying the reserves to give their all to support another missionary. We cushion ourselves so that in the event that we fall on hard times, we will still have sufficient and not be overcome by debts or a failure to keep present promises. This guidance based on fear and caution hinders us from living daily by faith and seeing big things from God.
The same could be said of our vision for the world. We tell ourselves that cannot possibly as a small or medium-sized congregation single-handedly cover the known world with the doctrine of Christ. Therefore, we sit back in ease and do the minimal to appease our conscience while reminding ourselves, that we have done more than others we have known.
|Calvary Baptist Church, Middleburg, Florida|
God save us from this small-minded thinking! Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. Jesus, just before his ascension, gathered together a local church of believers and gave this handful of commoners a charge to obey. He was not speaking at a large conference or fellowship of Baptist churches, but he was speaking to a singular church when he said, "Go ye into all the world". This ONE CHURCH was given a task of sharing the good news with EVERY NATION.
Fast-forward 2000 years and the typical church practices a philosophy that says, "We will do our part to evangelize the nations, and along with all the other fundamental churches, we will get the message to all four corners of the map". This thinking is driven by the toxic attitude that the world is TOO BIG FOR ONE CHURCH TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Can ONE CHURCH embrace the great commission with a vigor of seeing people saved from EVERY NATION?
|Preaching at televised crusade in Alexandria, Egypt|
In January, 2008, our church in Florida set out on a course to this end. The ambition and dream was to send our own members on missions trips around the known world to at least bear some fruit for Christ out of EVERY NATION. This objective is still in motion 9 1/2 years later. We still have far to go. The goal is simple, "bear some fruit from every nation picked by the hands of those who are in the membership of Calvary Baptist Church in Middleburg, Florida. The goal is not to send others on our behalf, but to go ourselves. The members have raised nearly all the funds themselves over the span of this first decade. We have now preached in 133 of the worlds' sovereign nations. To God Be the Glory, more than 200 thousand souls have professed Christ as their Savior during these 44 excursions by our ANOM labor force. We are just over halfway to our goal which our pastor set for us 114 months ago. The task has not been without a cost. It has cost us money, time, and anguish. We do not look backwards at what has been done, but forward to the needs of the people to be won from the next village, town, city, or island. The people of this sphere are waiting for someone with LIGHT to enter into their world of DARKNESS. Shall we wait until our needs are all supplied locally before we take the message internationally? I say, "In now wise".
It is the duty of EVERY believer, and EVERY church to ask themselves, "What will I allow God to do through me that the lost might be saved? The GREAT commission was not given to a denomination, bur to a CHURCH.