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Archive for Saturday, April 29, 2006

Faith forum

Is local mission work or going

April 29, 2006

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Mission work an important part of any Christian's faith

The Rev. Pieter Willems, pastor, Mustard Seed Christian Fellowship, 700 Wakarusa Drive:

All mission work is very important. Any Christian who has lost sight of this has forgotten the Great Commission given by Jesus in Matthew 28:19: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations."

There is only one thing that we cannot do in heaven that we can do on earth: share the life-changing message of God's love with others. Every church should have this mission burning in its heart.

I believe local, national and international mission work is of equal importance. A local mission mindset places the opportunity and the responsibility for sharing the Gospel on each believer. Every believer is called to be a witness right where they live. Love your neighbor. If you can't do it at home, why should you go elsewhere?

Missions outside our local sphere of influence should be experienced by every Christian. Going to another culture expands your understanding of how God loves people from every nation and ethnic group. A mission trip will change your heart to become less selfish and self-centered. We all can benefit from becoming less selfish. Heaven will be multicultural, so we'd better get used to it now.

The need for people to hear the wonderful message of God's great love for them is here at home and across the ocean. So make your life here on earth a continual missions trip till the day you die. After that, you won't have any more mission opportunities. Make the most of them now.

- Send e-mail to Pieter Willems at pieterjw@sunflower.com.

Witnessing means proclaiming love in word and action

The Rev. Nate Rovenstine, lead pastor, Lawrence Wesleyan Church, 3705 Clinton Parkway:

Missions are more than meeting physical, educational, sociological or medical needs. Missions done right include a concern for the spiritual welfare of those to whom we are ministering.

When Jesus left this earth and returned to heaven, he said: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8).

A witness is one who proclaims Christ's love in words and actions. The method for this proclamation is an ever-expanding circle of influence. Our holistic proclamation should start in Jerusalem (our local communities), in Judea (our extended society), in Samaria (across racial, economical and social boundaries) and to the ends of the earth.

Christ's call is for both local and international missions. If we don't get involved in the lives of those in our community, missions devolve into writing checks to ease our conscience. Without an international emphasis, we tend to get tunnel vision about God's amazing work around the world.

I am a strong advocate for such local missions at the Leo Center. The Leo Center gives us a chance to show the love of Christ in words and deeds to our community. But some of my greatest insights into the kingdom of God have come while participating in missions trips outside the Douglas County region.

- Send e-mail to Nate Rovenstine at info@LWChurch.net.

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