The mission of telling the entire world about the Gospel of God’s love can be a daunting task. There are nearly 7 billion people in the world. Most of those people live in areas that are unfriendly to evangelical Christianity. How can we obey the Great Commission to ‘Go into all the world and preach the Gospel…”?
I found an answer in one of Jesus’ miracles – the feeding of the 5,000. Jesus was at the height of his popularity. Estimates are there were possibly 25,000 people (including women and children) waiting to see Jesus. They were hungry so Jesus asked His disciples what to do with the hungry multitude.
Three answers were given. These same answers parallel the answers to worldwide missions.
1. Send them away.
Jesus’ disciples felt there were too many people so it is best to just leave them alone and send them away to get their own food.
Sometimes Christians determine the task is too big, there are too many unreached people and lands, so just leave them alone. Of the 6.7 billion people in the world, 2.7 billion live among unreached people groups of the world and 1.6 billion are completely unevangelized.
2. Raise money.
Philip determined that if they had 200 days worth of salary, they could buy them all a bit of food. In today’s economy, 200 days of $100-a-day salary would equal $20,000. That’s less than $1 per person – not even one item on the Dollar Menu at McDonald’s.
Some respond to missions only with money – as if money solved all problems. Money is one response to worldwide missions. More given to missions would make a huge difference. The average American Christian gives only 1 penny a day to global missions. From my perspective as a pastor, we have more people wanting to go to the mission field than ever before. I encourage every Christian to give as much as possible to get these people to the mission field.
3. Give what you have to Jesus.
Andrew found a boy with a small lunch of fishes and bread. But it was definitely not enough – until he gave it to Jesus. Jesus thanked God for it and distributed it to everyone. A miracle occurred because everyone was full and the disciples collected 12 baskets of left-overs. I think they gave the left-overs to the boy.
What we have is not enough to meet the need of world-wide missions. But Jesus is. When we give what we have to Him, it is enough. As Christians, we need to give Jesus what we have and let Him do the miracle.
If you give your life to Jesus for missions, don’t be surprised if He doesn’t want you to give some money. Just give it. Don’t be surprised if He doesn’t want you to go. Just go. Whatever He asks you to do, He will always reward you with more blessings than you can hold.
The task of worldwide missions seems impossible. But in the hands of Jesus, even our small donation can make a world of difference.