This blog is written by one of Cafe 1040’s overseas staff.
I recently received the following question in an email from a coworker, “What would you say are the top 3 Biblical principles that are important for people considering a life in missions?”
Working with 20-somethings that are seeking clarity and confidence related to a life of cross-cultural ministry requires asking questions like this often. We throw around the phrase, “How can we best mobilize our group towards a life of cross-cultural ministry?” No matter how you phrase it, the heart of the question is the same: what does the Word of God say about missions?
My response to this question centers on these three concepts from the Bible:
1. No Plan B.
From Genesis, we see that God has not changed in desiring His creation’s worship. He has revealed His purpose to bless all the families of all the earth and been faithful to accomplish this in one way—through Christ’s death and resurrection. Now, it is the task shared by His church to go and proclaim the Good News of the Gospel for all to hear and repent and believe. This is the way the Lord has ordained and we get to participate in His story of redemption.
Gen. 3:15, Gen. 12:1-3, Is. 49:1-7, Jonah
2. He is worthy.
As Creator and because of His character as pure and Holy and good and just, He is worthy. He is worthy of the praise and glory and honor from every tribe, tongue, and nation. He is worthy to have His sons and daughters go as ambassadors and spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth. More so than compassion for the lost and the desire to share the Good News, God proclaims the purpose of missions as glory from all creation back to himself, Creator. This is more compelling and sustainable because it is in line with God’s will. In other words, God receiving glory and praise is the intention of all missions.
Psalm 67, Psalm 96
3. The Greatest Commandment.
Christ is asked, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” He responds with loving God with everything we have and everything we are. Our measure of love is demonstrated in our level of obedience to God and His commandments. Therefore, if we are commanded, higher than any other commandment, to love the Lord with all our heart, we should be about His business in His world. That is, we should desire His will and living obedient lives (because we love Him—because He first loved us) to all that He commands.
Matt. 22:34-40, Heb. 1:1-4, 1 John 4:19
Whatever answers we might discover, the motivation for missions doesn’t vary:
“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn't.”
God’s mission has always been to glorify Himself, because He is worthy of all praise and honor. So however you answer, “What are the top 3 Biblical principles for missions?” remember that God’s mission, and thus man’s, is for His glory to be made known and worshipped throughout the nations.