Missions and Me
by Ben KC Lee
Saturday, Jul. 18, 2009
Strangely, the word 'missions' does not appear in Scriptures though the whole idea pervades the Bible. From the Old Testament God sends His messengers to call His people out of sin back to a right relationship with Him following to the New Testament the Bible's symphonic theme of mission. Jesus was a missionary from heaven coming to earth.
Christianity is defined as a missionary religion according to a popular encyclopedia. In other words, Christianity is missions. Missions is Christianity. In this article you will notice that I mean church-planting when I say missions. A church was always planted when Paul did missions. Missions is church planting because wherever evangelism produces converts, churches are planted.
The church is to cross all barriers to reach out to all ethnic groups, clans, tribe, social classes, and cultures. The great message of salvation is to be shared with all people everywhere. Since the Great Commission is a mandate, the church is expected to be obedient.
How does world missions specifically relate to the Singaporean Christian? Consider seven areas.
The first and foremost reason is simply that there are over four billion people in the world yet to know Christ (Rev. 7:9). People need Christ. This is our business. If it is not our business, we need to make this our business. We need to stand and be counted.
Second, Singapore presents us with a reach of 4.5 million people. 15% of Singaporeans consider themselves Christian. This is good considering that there are negligible number of churches in large cities and countries (Gen. 1:28). With over 560 churches in our city alone, you could say that there are already many players here.
Third, we cannot concentrate on national missions and downplay world missions. We cannot because there are no states or provinces here. Singapore is a city state.
Fourth, the emphasis on a bilingual school curriculum has benefits. Many folks here are bilingual. A related benefit is the development of bicultural people and therefore bicultural Christians. We are comfortable or at least sensitive to multi-lingual and multi-cultural environments. We are people ready to go into new cultures.
Fifth, is the high level investment in education and training of its people. Human resource here is highly educated, highly skilled and highly motivated. Such human potential when humble and harnessed well can be a potent missionary force (Eph. 2:10).
Sixth, is the strategic location of Singapore as a platform for launching church-planting teams. We reside in a nation that has excellent infrastructure, telecommunications and is a financial hub. We have every reason to build powerful missions churches in a country where everything works.
Seventh, is the spiritual growth from missions. Our personal experiences in the starting of our home church and starting churches in Asia would have taught invaluable spiritual lessons. The process of directly participating in missions has brought the Bible alive. Now, we know Biblical truths intimately because we have seen it come to life. We can speak with a great deal of conviction because I have come to know and trust the Lord much more. Now we can go beyond the region to go global.
I believe that a Christian misses our basis for existence when we do not participate in discipling the nations. I believe that our churches will plateau and face dryness when we do not enroll in God's plans for the whole world. When the river has no outlet, it becomes a dead sea.
Some may say, "I will send money". Others might say, "I will pray". God wants our heart. Let's pray, "Lord, please let me go". God is looking for people willing to obey His Commission. Pray for a vision for church planting. Missions is our life. 'M' does not just stand for 'missions' but it stands for 'me'.
First published in the Christian Post Singapore. Online: http://sg.christianpost.com/dbase/editorial/488/section/1.htm