Frontlines or Sidelines

Right before his ascension, Jesus gave his disciples this command, “… 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” (Matthew 28:18-20, NIV). This command has been universally understood to apply to all believers. But what about those who, for various reasons, cannot physically go out? Some of us must stay at home, whether because of physical difficulties or because we are already ministering to our families, our congregations and our communities. Regardless, none of us are called to sit on the sidelines of foreign missions.

Have you ever thought back, with nostalgia, to the time of the apostles, dreamily supposing that every believer was engaged as a foreign missionary, leaving his or her hometown to spread the gospel all over the world? The reality? The early church probably didn’t look much different from our own. Many, possibly most members, stayed home and lived their lives caring and ministering in their immediate surroundings. So, were these believers shirking their duty to the nations? Hardly! Instead, they recognized that when they supported and funded a missionary, they were partnering in spreading the gospel (Philippians 1:4-6). Paul, in his letter to the Romans, writes as if they will, as a matter of the heart, quite naturally want to finance his trip to Spain (Romans 15:24).

The believers realized that they were part of a body, each with their own job to do. Not every member could physically leave their home to serve as a missionary, but all the believers were part of the missionary team going out to the world. No missionary could go to the unreached without a team behind them, supporting them through monetary gifts, prayers and emotional support, as illustrated in Philippians and Romans. This is just as true in our day as in the apostle’s. Imagine the delight these believers, and their churches felt as Peter or Paul reported back to them, sharing with them how the body had grown as a result of their gifts.

You, too, can directly obey the command of Jesus to go to the nations even if you cannot go to an unreached area yourself. By joining an AFM Missionary’s team, you can instantaneously partner with those physically on the front lines. Choose a missionary today and may God bless you with witnessing the difference your partnership makes in the lives of the unreached.

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