Why Support Missions Work?


Mission is the divine activity of sending intermediaries, whether supernatural or human, to speak or do God's will so that his purposes for judgment or redemption are furthered. The biblical concept is expressed by the use of verbs meaning "to send, " normally with God as the expressed subject. The Hebrew verb is salah and the Greek is apostello. These terms emphasize the authoritative, commissioning relationship involved. The Scriptures also employ the cognates apostolos ("apostle, " the one sent) and apostole ("apostleship, " the function of being sent), referring to the one sent and his function.


In simple words, mission is sending someone out into the world from your church to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those who don't know Him. Now it is very important that the reader understands that the someone in this definition needs to be called and anointed of God for this task. In other words, he or she should carry the ministry of an evangelist or missionary or apostle. The easiest way to know if someone carries this ministry is to verify if people are led to Jesus when this person preaches the word of God. So, that you know, I would like to point out the difference between preaching and teaching. Preaching is done to non-believers and teaching is done to believers. This difference is very important. If you read the great commission instruction at the last chapter of the Gospel of Mark and Matthew, you will notice that Jesus clearly instructs His followers to preach the gospel to non-believers and to teach them once they are believers or disciples. 


The reason I am reading this article is to point out the importance of supporting missions work. It seems that people have this negative mindset towards the church and it's work nowadays. They make judgements based upon their own opinions and feelings. It is very important that we get back to the basics of Christianity. Instead of making the church a social club, let us focus on the primary objective of why the church exists and what exactly is its purpose as given by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! 


We will now look at some of the reasons for supporting missions work.


1. Missions Work is Commanded by Jesus as the Major Purpose of the Church - in other words, missions work is the primary objective of the church. Let's look at some scriptures in this regard: 


Matthew 28:18-20 NASBS

[18] And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. [19] Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, [20] teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."


Mark 16:15-18 NASBS

[15] And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. [16] He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. [17] These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name, they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; [18] they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."


There are some things about the above passage of scripture that I want the reader to note. First, this is the last words of Jesus before he ascended to heaven. The last words of a person carry weight and should be taken seriously. They mean business. Second, Jesus clearly states that to go out into the world to preach the gospel is the very first commandment you should follow. It is the most essential and primary task of every believer. To not follow this commandment is synonymous to giving up Christianity itself. Now it may sound too harsh of a statement to some of you but putting aside all our feelings, the church exists for this very purpose. You and I may argue all we want but the truth of the matter is that that's what Jesus commanded and all arguments against this commandment might as well be regarded as either rebellion or disobedience. I will let you be the judge. 


Now there is another side of this statement that some may reason against. You may say that we are all called to go out. If this is your reasoning, then you are correct. But let me ask you a simple question: Are you doing it? Let's be frank about this matter; as much as we would like to say YES, the answer is by default NO! There are several reasons for this. The first one primarily being your job. You may not be getting a long enough holiday to do the work of an evangelist. Who are we kidding? This task consumes time. Do you have the time to go out and preach what Jesus commanded? Most if not all will respond with a big NO. Believe me this is something your Pastor understands very well. The second reason is that this is not your calling. It is pretty much useful to invest in something that you are not called to do. It is not only a waste of your time, but also energy, finance, resources and skills. Let me set the stage straight for you all: Do what God has called you to do. Don't drift from your calling. Your action does not only affect you but at a larger scale the entire church and God's work in general. The third reason is family responsibility. You may have family obligations that prevent you from going out into the mission field to preach the good news. This also is very reasonable especially if you have kids or your parents are living with you. The situation is worse if both the husband and wife are working and I believe this to be true especially in USA. The forth reason is financial support. To do the work of an evangelist requires money just as everything else in life does. Travel costs, meals, lodging and all other expenses related to evangelistic work requires finance. The truth is that without finance, you get nowhere. Therefore, every evangelist must raise up funds to do this work. It is not easy. We should be very careful not to bad mouth God's servants in this regard. The fifth reason I believe is lack of knowledge. A lot of Christians don't know that going out into the world to preach the gospel is the primary task and purpose of the church. Either they are not reading their Bible or they are reading it but understanding nothing. This is a sad fact but true. If you fall in this category, then I would like to encourage you to attend Bible Study as much as possible and ask questions if you don't understand something. Think about it; asking questions is the only realistic way to learn. The sixth reason why every church member does not go out into the world to preach the glad tidings is lack of Godly fear. If you don't fear God, then it is obvious you won’t listen to what He says. Lack of Godly fear may somewhat boil down to lack of knowledge. If you don't know someone well, then fear in the Godly sense which is more of a reverence and respect for what He says will not be on your priority or to do list.  The seventh reason is laziness. Now what I really mean by laziness here is spiritual laziness; lack of interest in things of God or what the Bible calls fleshly or carnal minded people. This issue of laziness works two ways. The first is that it prevents the person in question from doing anything for God. The second is that this person who has no interest in God's work may become a stumbling block to other people who are trying to do God's work or at least putting in some effort. Although these folks may regard themselves as Christians, the Bible classifies them as wolves in sheepskin. Be very careful with people who like to talk the talk but never walk the walk. We might as well call this group partners of the evil one since they promote the devil's agenda with so much enthusiasm. Yes, spiritual laziness can become a big problem and is very infectious so be careful. Now, there are other reasons why a person may not be able to go out into the world to preach the gospel but I feel compelled to stop here and move on to the second reason why we should support missions work?


2.Supporting Missions Work is the Responsibility of the Believers. If believers refuse to support God's work especially reaching out to the unsaved, then who exactly is the servant of God supposed to ask for help. The church is a real spiritual family. It is the body of Christ. Each member of the body has a role to play and when we fail to do our part, problems arise and disrupt the internal harmony of the congregation. It only takes one match stick to burn down an entire forest. It only takes one member to destroy an entire host of believers. Let's look at a few scriptures in relation to my second reason:


1 Corinthians 16:1-4 NASBS

[1] Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. [2] On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come. [3] When I arrive, whomever you may approve, I will send them with letters to carry your gift to Jerusalem; [4] and if it is fitting for me to go also, they will go with me.


There are three points I want to make about the above passage of scripture. First, the early church had a system put in place to support those folks who were out in the missions field doing evangelistic work. This was setup very early in the development of the church to make sure financial and material support is provided for God's workers. To not do this, would not only be unethical but also ungodly, unjust and unrighteousness. A Christian is not supposed to be self-centered but Christ centered which is ultimately concern for those people who are directly impacting the extension of God's kingdom in the world. These people are God's chosen vessel for this task and we are the helpers. The second point that is made in this scripture is that God's people should put aside something to support God's servants who are out in the mission fields. This something can be money or some material goods that is needed or requested. You should not be giving whatever you want. Taking out your junk and unnecessary stuff and donating it for God's work is not a healthy habit. Paul makes a very important point when he says to give according to how blessed or prosperous one is. In other words, those who are more blessed or prosperous, have a greater responsibility to support missions work whether it be monetary or material. Paul also points out that this support should be consistent. In this passage of scripture, it is on a weekly basis. Let us learn from this example. The third point that Paul makes is that the givers get to choose who will carry your gifts to the destination. This maybe a cautionary suggestion to make the Corinthians know that Paul has no intention of taking their gifts for himself or stealing them. Paul is demonstrating accountability to the Corinthians even thou it is not necessary. Accountability is one of the highest moral trait or characteristic of a spiritual leader. Those leaders who are not accountable to their members, loose respect and with time, loose members and finally the church. I would like us to look at another scripture before moving into the third reason for supporting missions work.


Philippians 4:15-19 NASBS

[15] You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; [16] for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs. [17] Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. [18] But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. [19] And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.


There are a few points I would like to make from the above passage of scripture. First, we learn about the ministry of giving and receiving which the Philippians had mastered. They had learnt to give even in lack and poverty. This is a very hard thing to do because sacrificial offering hurts the giver but it also puts him or her in a better position to receive from the abundant blessings of God. The Philippians remembered the one who had invested spiritually in their lives and they counted it joy to share the little they had with Paul. There were many other churches that Paul had planted but it seems that most of them had stepped back from sending assistance to Paul to help him out in the missions work. Second, Paul mentions that whatever we do for God is deposited into our heavenly account. It seems like God has a reward system to bless his children who are excelling in the art of giving. In other words, giving is the key to receiving from God. This is totally opposite to how the real world works. But this spiritual law is very real in the lives of faithful believers who are givers like the Philippians. Third, our support to those out in the missions field is a sweet-smelling aroma to God. This is a very big statement. Your support for missions is not just a help to missionaries or evangelists but also something God views highly before His throne. It is not only noticed by God but also remembered by God and recorded in His Books. In due time, you will be rewarded for your love and concern for the saints, on earth and in heaven; in this life and also the one to come. Forth, God got your back. You can stand confident that God will remember you in your bad or rainy days. He will stand by your side through your trials and persecutions. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Your problem will be His problem. Remember if God is for you, who can stand against you! When Paul said that my God will supply all your needs, he really meant all. So, stand firm in faith. Giving is always followed by receiving. Rememebr, God's word never fails. 


3. Love for the Unsaved Souls. We need to be very careful when talking about God's love. We should not confuse it with human love. Human love whether it be storge or eros or philia are all selfish in nature. It is only the love of God which is called agape in the Greek language that is always concerned about the welfare of the other party whether it be a friend or a stranger or an enemy. God's love is sacrificial in character. It always seeks the well-being of the other party. It always desires the good of the other party. For us to have this kind of love, the Holy Spirit was poured into our hearts. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of love. The third and final reason why we should support missions work is God's love operating in our lives prompting for the good of those who have no knowledge about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Let's look at a scripture on God's mercy and love: 


Ephesians 2:1-5 NASBS

[1] And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, [2] in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. [3] Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. [4] But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, [5] even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)......


There are a few points I would like to make about the above scripture verses. First, when the Paul says that we were dead in our trespasses and sins, it is an all hope gone situation. On our part, there was nothing we could do to set the fellowship that had been broken in the garden of Eden right. We were condemned to hell by default. There was no other option. Second, we were workers of Satan's kingdom, promoters of his work and agenda on earth. How could we do otherwise, our very being was stained with the filth of sin and immoral living. We were called sons of disobedience. Thank God someone came and witnessed about Jesus Christ to us. In other words, we were enemies of God; rebels so to speak. Third, God loved us so much that in His rich mercy He made a way out for us in the person of Jesus Christ. Those who believed in Jesus Christ were sent out to those who did not know Him. Let's have a quick look at another scripture: 


Romans 10:14-15 NASBS

[14] How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? [15] How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "How BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO bring GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!"


In the above passage of scripture, the main point is that the church needs to send someone out into the missions field so that those who don't know Christ may hear about him and be saved from the coming wrath of God and receive eternal life by believing in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Now some may quickly argue that there are already preachers in that country. You are right but everyone does not have the calling of a missionary or evangelist or apostle. If God has called a person to go to a certain country to preach the Gospel, who are we to stop him from obeying God. What the reader needs to understand is that God has put the burning desire and love in this person’s heart to fulfill this task. It only makes sense that he or she should follow the vision that God has given him or her. You may ask, "where does love fit in this picture?". If God in His love is willing to send His Only Son into this world to die for our sins, is it too much if we show forth the same behavior towards those who have no knowledge of Christ? I ask, "Is it too much of a deal if the one going out from your church asks you for support?" I ask "Is it a burden to support missions work?" Do you read anywhere in the Bible that you were a burden to God and so He left you to die in your sins; He ran off as soon as He saw you; He declared you an enemy and sentenced you to hell. No, we don't see any such statements but what we see are the tender mercies of God because of His love for us all. We should learn from God and become Christ minded in our thinking, talk and works. Remember, to create this universe cost God nothing. He literally spoke it into existence but to save you and I cost Him His one and only son. It cost Him all. He bankrupted heaven for our sake. Let us stop being selfish and put priority on what matters most to God. Let us invest in sending someone out into the missions field. Let us support the chosen vessel for this job in our congregation. If God did not hold back, why should we? Be encouraged in knowing that your sacrifice in not in vain. The one above is always watching you. As a matter of fact, your reward might as well be greater than the one doing the missionary work because you made it possible for the chosen vessel to fulfill his calling; to fulfill the task that God almighty had destined him to do.



In conclusion, I would like to summarize my three reasons for supporting Missions work: 


  1. It is a direct commandment given by Jesus Christ to the Church. 
  2. It is every believer's responsibility as a church member. 
  3. It is a love response towards unsaved souls. 


To finish off, I would like to quote James, the half-brother of Jesus: 


James 5:19-20 NASBS

[19] My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, [20] let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.


I know that verse 19 is talking about a backslidden Christian but verse 20 seems to be pointing more towards those who hear the gospel and experience salvation. And how will they hear; when we send out someone from among us to preach the gospel to the unbelievers. It's not an easy task but with the church standing behind the man of God, it is not only possible but results will be produced and God's work will advance in other areas of the world! Amen!