In this age of quick, fast and easy, it is natural to desire a quick solution for reaching the world with the Gospel.
We would like to go to the masses, give them a simple formula during a quick visit and leave behind thronging churches which are obedient to all of Christ’s commands.
Apart from the miraculous intervention of God the real world may not work that way. The masses have yet to reach the remote tribes.
For His life giving message, God’s chosen method of delivery is special delivery by personal courier. The courier is sent from those who believe Him to those who do not. (Romans 10:13-17)(2 Corinthians 3:18-5:20)
Establishing functioning churches involves discipleship. Communicating a clear message is part of building a faith centered on the Lord Jesus Christ which results in a multiplying, vibrant, living local body of believers. (John 15:5)(1 Corinthians 2:2-5, 3:10-11)
On the highest authority in heaven and on earth, the command which our Lord gave to us was to go into all the world and teach all nations everything He commanded. (Matthew 28:18-20) What is the time required to teach someone everything?
More than evangelism, the objective is to equip ambassadors for representation and reproduction. We are to equip equippers. (Ephesians 4:12, Hebrews 13:21) We are to pass on the things we have learned to the faithful who will in turn teach others. (2 Timothy 2:2)
Church planting takes time. Discipleship involves persistence. Establishing disciples of Christ in a foreign country, in an unwritten language, across cultural barriers, where no Bible exists, takes perseverance, patience and planning.
God’s Word is equal to the task. What will set people free, from generations of practices based on lies, is the truth delivered by a faithful messenger. The light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ will dawn on the listener.
The great needs of the moment are couriers and senders to reach people who are already asking to be taught. We need people.
What a privilege awaits those who will get involved! Oh how great and wonderful is that transformation which occurs when God’s truth supplants false beliefs! How beautiful is the joy on a face reflecting recognition of our Savior’s great grandeur!
Planting indigenous, Bible-believing, maturing, reproducing churches takes time but the result is a new generation of the redeemed who are able to declare God’s glory.
In my own temptation to find the shortcut and follow the easy path, I can only repeat to myself what the apostle advised: “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord forasmuch as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58) Looking back at those times when life was difficult I can clearly see that God was working to build His church the whole time.
“He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.” (Colossians 1:28)
It seems that the marathon missions method has some historical precedent.
1 Corinthians 9:24 ¶ Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!
Philippians 3:14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Do you know people who are willing to run the marathon? Could you ask them to join us?
Our obedience to the command may include many short plays in the overall scheme but it seems to have a lot of going long and digging deep.