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Matthew 25:34-40; Romans 10:12-15; Isaiah 6:8
This is “Missions Week” at Glenkirk Church, climaxing with Missions Sunday on October 17. Years ago, after a Glenkirk short-term mission trip to Africa and then one to Chinle’s Navajo reservation, I asked my wife to join me on a future trip and increase our related support. She objected, “We have so many needs here! Why focus somewhere else, some place where I can’t even see the daily impact of my support?”
Worthwhile missions operate outside the US, but these are not the only places where God moves. “While believers should faithfully support [foreign missions and missionaries], all Christians have the mission to share Christ on the home field with family, friends, coworkers.” (GotQuestions?org) “The fields are ripe for harvest” (John 4:35) in your own family, neighborhood, workplace or school, as well as in your community and globally.
“One of [Glenkirk’s] core values … is Create. Specifically, creating God’s kingdom on earth as we reach out to our local community through acts of service and Christian missions that are rooted in love for God and for others. … We strive to [realize this also] through local, national, and international efforts [supporting] missionaries and [sending] mission teams to Africa, the Middle East, South America, Central America, Native American reservations, Canada, Mexico, and more.” (Glenkirk Church)
“Christian missions [intentionally] lead others to a saving faith in Jesus Christ … The word ‘mission’ comes from the word ‘to send’ … This may be across town or on the other side of the globe.” (Compelling Truth) “Christian missions [include] obeying Christ, sharing Christ, and relying on Christ. … God sends missionaries through the support of the church to the unreached. All Christians, however, have the mission of reconciliation. The Lord works through [us] to rescue the lost.” (GotQuestions?org)
My wife later joined me on short-term mission trips to Costa Rica and Haiti, finding each experience spiritually transforming. She now personally sponsors an African child, has served at Glenkirk’s annual homeless shelter, and supported my board service with two Glenkirk-supported missions. “God has uniquely gifted … and created you to serve others and to be a light of hope.” (Glenkirk Church) What greater mission is there?
What does “The fields are ripe for harvest” (John 4:35) mean to you? What is a meaningful way in which you can embrace Glenkirk’s “Create” value? What mission do all Christ followers share?
Prayers for Pars Theological Center
Pars exists to equip and mobilize the Iranian church by training servant leaders to lead the Persian-speaking church. Pray for Pars’ students in Afghanistan. The Taliban is actively searching for underground Christian networks to uncover the locations of underground churches. Pray God will cast a veil over these churches that will keep them from sight and provide refuge for the students and their families.
Isaiah 58:6-10; 2 Corinthians 9:6-9; 1 Peter 4:9-11
Sometimes our prayers are cautious, perhaps fearful that if we are too bold God might send us to some primitive, faraway place. Some limit personal service or ignore missions altogether, using the excuse that “I am not gifted here,” or “I’m uncomfortable being around people in difficult circumstances,” or even “Finances are too tight—I don’t have the money to help meaningfully.” Though such objections might sound practical, these people ignore the truth that “God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
As we’re addressing this week, missions come in various shapes and sizes, whether local or global. There are many ways to support missions—through prayer all the way up to personally serving on the mission field. The Christian mission Within Reach Global lists ten ways in which believers can get involved with missional kingdom-building:
- Believe Supportively—believe that God can do impossible and amazing things through missions.
- Pray Powerfully—perhaps even intensifying prayers with fasting (if you can do so safely) to seek God’s face.
- Contact Frequently—call, email, text or connect online with those on the frontlines.
- Give Sacrificially—loving, sacrificial gifts that have a passion for God and the needy they benefit.
- Remind Consistently—be an ambassador for the mission, encouraging its support among others continually.
- Visit Obediently—spend time with those serving.
- Help Creatively—through your involvement and prayer, God could give you amazing ideas and dreams into how to help missions’ effectiveness.
- Listen Compassionately—be available, enabling those on the frontlines to unburden themselves.
- Celebrate Enthusiastically—rejoice regarding the fruit of your prayers, finances, and faithfulness.
- Join Courageously—don’t be a spectator, but get involved personally “in the field.”
Any committed believer can embrace at least a couple of these ways to enable missions. What is preventing you from intensifying your support? In God’s economy, the server is served, the giver receives, and the blesser is blessed. Step up and see how God multiplies your faithfulness!
What biblical promise do believers who are always “taking the comfortable route” ignore? Which two or three of the ten ways to support missional kingdom-building resonate most with you? How will you embrace these faithfully?
Prayers for Pars Theological Center
Pray that the many women who now have their safety and education threatened will be protected. Pray also for Iran and their leadership as they offer temporary settlement to Afghans fleeing the Taliban. There are others who are looking for asylum in Turkmenistan. Pray that their escapes will be protected.
John 13:12-17; Acts 20:35; Ephesians 2:8-10
The Bible calls every believer to missional living—bringing Christ to others prayerfully, respectfully and lovingly via empathy, kindness and service. Glenkirk Church sponsors or supports many local missional activities as avenues enabling our faithful response to this call. Except for last year’s COVID-induced interruption, Glenkirk and 50 daily volunteers host 200 homeless people each January, housing and feeding these guests over 15 days. Glenkirk’s new “Open Arms” ministry helps local individuals and families enduring homelessness via showers, breakfast and sack lunches, first and third Saturdays of May through November. (See https://www.glenkirkchurch.org/homeless/)
Glenkirk annually sends short-term mission teams to the Navajo reservation in Chinle, Arizona. These trips typically include local projects within the reservation’s facilities and Vacation Bible School; there is also an annual December trip bringing gifts and Christmas cheer to Navajo people. Each year Glenkirk students head to a selected, challenged location for a weeklong mission. In summer 2021, this entailed partnering with City Service Mission in LA; past trips were to Birmingham, Alabama, etc. You can learn more via https://www.glenkirkchurch.org/outreach/.
Glenkirk spawned and supports the Shepherd’s Pantry (https://www.shepherdspantry.com), which provides food, resources and services, and faith-based support to families in need. The Pantry offers volunteering opportunities in counselling, tutoring, or its various operations. Azusa-based Homework House (https://www.neighborhoodhomeworkhouse.org) supports students of low-income families via volunteer-supported tutoring, mentoring, and leading other skill-building activities or projects. These ministries offer service and volunteering opportunities, while also welcoming financial support.
Glenkirk supports other local faith-based ministries, including: Living Stones, providing hope and services to individuals and families with LGBTQ+circumstances (https://www.livingstonesministries.org); and ECO church plants Missio Community Church of Pasadena (https://www.missiocc.org) and Perch Church of Glendale (https://perch.church).
Anyone with “I can’t jump on a plane and fly overseas” or “I don’t want to support something I can’t see for myself” objections to missional service has opportunities via any of the above local ministries. Jesus came to seek, serve and save the lost; we are called accordingly—to be His body (1 Corinthians 12:27), heart, hands and feet actively serving the disadvantaged and marginalized. How are you responding to this call?
Which of Glenkirk’s supported local missions stirs you most? How will you respond?
Prayers for Pars Theological Center
Pray against a new internet bill waiting to be approved by the Iranian government that will place stronger restrictions on internet use. The government is asking social media platforms, like Facebook, to register with the government so that they could have oversight and control over user data.
Matthew 28:19-20; Jonah 3:1-5, 4:11; Isaiah 43:18-21
Almost nothing rivals the amazing ways you can see God moving in the global mission field. I’ve witnessed Christian brothers and sisters in places like Kenya and Haiti praising God, exhibiting continual joy in the Lord amidst challenging circumstances, and leading group devotionals and powerful public prayers. These believers—possessing so little in worldly terms—demonstrate that “when Jesus is all that you have, you see that He is all that you need.”
Glenkirk offers various local missional opportunities (as addressed yesterday), but it also has been active in global missions for many years. Both are rewarding, with this common ground: it’s humbling and convicting to support others who have given much of their lives to serving the disadvantaged—you engage to serve, but always feel served and blessed in return. Logistics are more complex when serving globally—travel, immunizations, documentation, etc.—and the depth of poverty experienced can be jaw-dropping. But God does amazing work in the most “desperate” circumstances.
The following three global missions profiled provide opportunities for service via short-term mission/vision team trips. GTi Hope, India (https://www.gtihope.org) trains and equips local leaders, partnering with and through local villages to increase literacy, provide clean water sources, and give hope to the marginalized. Three Angels, Haiti (https://www.threeangelshaiti.org) serves orphans and at-risk families, helping them encounter Jesus, establish healthy homes and escape poverty; Three Angels operates an orphanage—also placing orphans in “forever families”—a K-6 Christian school, and a medical clinic. For His Children, Ecuador (https://www.forhischildren-ecuador.org) is a Christ-centered ministry to homeless children, striving to reunite them with their biological or adoptive family.
Glenkirk also supports the following three global missions: Pars Theological Centre, Europe/Iran (https://www.parstheology.com) exists to equip and mobilize the Iranian church through training, resourcing, empowering and mobilizing the next generation of servant leaders. African Enterprise (https://africanenterprise.org) seeks to evangelize African cities, partnering with the Church in leadership enhancement, youth empowerment and community transformation. International Justice Mission (https://www.ijm.org) is a global organization that rescues and restores victims of trafficking or slavery.
“I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here I am! Send me.’” (Isaiah 6:8)
Are you unfamiliar with any of the Glenkirk-supported global missions? Will you visit their sites via the links provided to learn more about them and see how you might help?
Prayers for Pars Theological Center
Pray for Pars’ students. Currently there are 494 students registered for the upcoming term, 52 of whom are new students. It has been an eventful year and summer. Pray that God will continue to provide for these students as they make the sacrifices and take substantial risks to study with Pars.
Psalm 96; 1 Peter 2:9-10
“The Spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions, and the nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become.” (Henry Martyn)
Consider other faithful, Glenkirk-supported Christian missionaries. Brandon and Kendra Kerston, Christina Hack, Chi Alpha Campus Ministries (https://chialpha.com): discipling university students. Brian and Anna Kleinsasser, Youth with a Mission (https://ywam.org): training believers to fulfill the Great Commission. Bryant and Anne Wilhelmsen, Global Grace Fellowship, Central Europe (https://www.globalgrace.org/wilhelmsen): disciple-making among all peoples. Emre Uflazoglu, International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (https://ifesworld.org/en/region/europe/): pastoring student-led Christian movements in 170+ countries. Juli McGowan Boit, Living Room International (https://www.livingroominternational.org): helping Kenyans enduring life-threatening illnesses.
“Oh, give me, Lord, Thy love for souls,
For lost and wand’ring sheep,
That I may see the multitudes
And weep as Thou didst weep.
Help me to see the tragic plight
Of souls far off in sin;
Help me to love, to pray, and go
To bring the wand’ring in.
From off the altar of Thy heart
Take Thou some flaming coals,
Then touch my life and give me, Lord,
A heart that’s hot for souls.
O Fire of Love, O Flame Divine,
Make Thy abode in me;
Burn in my heart, burn evermore,
Till I burn out for Thee.” (Eugene M. Harrison)
“God is not looking for a certain IQ. He is looking for a certain ‘I Will.’” (Sid Messer) Glenkirk supports these kingdom-builders. Do you?
How “intensely missionary” have you been? Which of these missionaries and their kingdom-building work stirs you to an “I will” support response?
Prayers for Pars Theological Center
Please pray for four in-person Formation Conferences between September and December. Each gather 15-30 students for a week of seminars, workshops, one-to-one professional counseling, small group discussion, prayer and fellowship. The conferences nurture the spiritual, personal and vocational formation of the students. Pray for the health and safety of all staff involved.
- GotQuestions?org’s quotes are from https://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-missions.html
- Glenkirk Church’s quotes can be found at https://www.glenkirkchurch.org/outreach/
- Compelling Truth’s quote is from https://www.compellingtruth.org/Christian-missions.html
- Within Reach Global’s paraphrases and quotes can be found at https://withinreachglobal.org/10-ways-to-support-missionaries/
- Henry Martyn’s and Sid Messer’s quotes are from https://barbaraleeharper.com/2006/12/03/missions-poems-and-quotes/
- Eugene M. Harrison’s untitled poem can be found at https://www.wholesomewords.org/poetry/missions.html