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Foundations of missions: Our Calling

He called… (Matthew 10:1) Principle: Those who are sent out must first be called. Too often we look for a neon sign to pull us out of our comfort zone. There is a sense in which we’ve already been called by Jesus in scripture and just need to respond. I received an email about a woman na…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

He called… (Matthew 10:1)

Principle: Those who are sent out must first be called.

Too often we look for a neon sign to pull us out of our comfort zone. There is a sense in which we’ve already been called by Jesus in scripture and just need to respond. I received an email about a woman named Linda that illustrates this. Linda had been given a remarkable dream.

In this dream, there was a river that went a number of directions. Linda and her family were in a wide part of the river.

They were just about the only ones there. The fish in that part of the river were huge. Wherever they reached their arms into the water, they would catch fish.

They spread their arms wide to catch as many as possible. The river was thick with all these fish, so Linda couldn’t understand why there was hardly anybody else trying to catch them.

Then she looked over at another part of the river. There were swarms of fishermen there; so many that there was no space between them, and it was dark. Not only that, but they kept getting their lines all tangled up with one another when they went to cast. As Linda looked at this situation, it became even more outrageous when one of the fishermen in the dark part of the river yelled out to her, “Come over here, we need more fishermen to help.” Linda knew that this was of course not the case, but the one calling out was darkened to the situation.

What does this dream mean? It’s pointing out the disparity between the resources and time the global church spends on itself. When I read about this dream, I wondered, “OK, I know that there are a lot more Christian workers focused on areas which have already been fished out so to speak, but I wonder what the actual statistics are?”

So I did some research. I wanted to find out how we’re doing. The Global Evangelization Movement provided me with some of the answers I was looking for. I discovered that 5% of the world’s pastors work among 73% of the population. Even worse was the number of missionaries being sent out to the more than 4 billion people in those parts of the world with few pastors. There are only 392,000 of them. That’s just 2 hundredths of one percent of the laity available.

So, my question is, “Are we fishing in the right part of the river?”

Linda’s dream of the fish describes a terrible reality. The world needs Christians who have been commissioned, Christians who are committed to share the gospel with those who have never heard.

Continued in: Foundations of missions: Our Calling (part 2)

Comments (3)

  • Is there a paradigm shift for the Americans in the 21st century from “sharing the Gospel” directly to activating and supporting indigenous lay believers in country to “share the Gospel?”

    Thom Wolf, former senior Pastor of the Church on Brady (now Mosaic in East LA), a church of 500 poor Asians, poor Mexicans and poor Whites, had 50 full time missionaries from their church or the largest number in all Southern Baptist Churches when he left.

    see-www.universal-disciple.com for more on Wolf

    But they were sent out as “ACTIVATORS” of “PERSONS OF PEACE” who had a significant sphere of influence in their community. These “Persons of Peace” had been prepared by God to be responsive to activation.

    Their missionaries were very successful in planting new churches because they understood their role from Christ’s model in Matthew 10 and Luke 10 to identify and activate “Persons of Peace.” The missionary was not a permanant figure only a catalyst. Isn’t that what Paul did since he only spent three months or so in each city except Ephesus?

  • good catch (no pun intended). I like Jesus’ concept of bringing the Kingdom. there are so many places where the Kingdom of God needs to come. and indigenous believers are going to be more effective once they’ve been discipled.

  • Dear Sir/madam, compliment of the Season. I view ur site on interest of joining a mission trip to go into the world and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. I was call to win Souls but my believing is that it might be through your ministry that i will get more awareness. i am capable, i have the power that the Lord Deposited in my Life to heal according to His name. Jesus called me not my brother or sister but JESUS the creator of universe. so sir/madam, i wouldn’t mind if you can need my attention to see me in physical way. May God continue to bless you and empowwer you and also keeping you away from temptation. i pray for you that you will never fall into temptation. Devil is a liar. In the Book of Mark 16:15, the lord instructed us to go into the nation and preach the Gospel to the world, to aware about the death his death, how he came and save us by dying on the cross of calvary. Madam/sir, May the Lord am serving continue to bless you in jesus name. Amen Hear from you soon and remain bless……

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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