Where Should We Send Our Missionaries & Mission Funds?
... by Tim Kelly
Whenever a new need is identified by congregation members and elders seeking contributions and donations, the question is usually asked, “Why are we sending our money overseas when we have a need here in the USA?” That is always a tough question to answer until you look at the direction we are given as Presbyterians.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Book of Order declares that “the mission of the church is given form by God’s activity in the world as told in the Bible and understood by faith.” We are to be “the provisional demonstration of what God intends for all of humanity.” This call reiterates the charge for mission in the New Testament. Consider the implications of the Book of Order‘s words for us today:
The church is called to be Christ’s faithful evangelist:
- going into the world, making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all He has commanded;
- demonstrating by the love of its members for one another and by the quality of its common life the new reality in Christ; sharing in worship, fellowship, and nurture, practicing a deepened life of prayer and service under the guidance of the Holy Spirit;
- participating in God’s activity in the world through its life for others by:
- healing and reconciling and binding up wounds;
- ministering to the needs of the poor, the sick, the lonely, and the powerless;
- engaging in the struggle to free people from sin, fear, oppression, hunger, and injustice;
- giving itself and its substance to the service of those who suffer;
- sharing with Christ in the establishing of His just, peaceable, and loving rule in the world.
The Church is called to undertake this mission even at the risk of sickness or loss of life, trusting in God alone as the author and giver of life, sharing the gospel, and doing those deeds in the world.
Our charge, therefore, is to minister (through our mission work/giving) to the needs of the poor, the sick, the lonely and the powerless. And, we should be committed to doing so by going into the world, making disciples of all, whether it is locally, nationally or internationally.