Gayle and I have been on the deputation trail for 2 months now. The past 8 weeks have taken us to 3 States where I have been in 13 churches and spoken 31 times. To say we are keeping busy is an understatement!
Several of my pastor friends have asked me why I did not just get on the phone, make some calls, and see if I could raise the support we need by phone instead of enduring the rigors of travel and preaching just about every night. After all, we have been in the ministry for over 40 years. God has graciously allowed us to be friends with enough pastors across the country that we could possibly raise the minimal amount of support we need for the 2 of us to live and work in Southern China where we plan to headquarter. Why not just make some calls and skip the hassle and expense of deputation altogether?
There are several reasons we are doing what we are:
1. The Barnabas1040 ministry is not just about us.
If is was just about us, we might make some calls and see if we could raise the personal support we need to live and minister in the 10/40 Window, but that is not the case. This ministry is really not about us at all. It is about God’s desire to call unto Himself worshippers from every nation.
God’s plan for the gospel to go to all people groups can be traced back at least 6,000 years to Abraham. “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Genesis 12:3
God promised Abraham that all the families of the earth would be blessed through the Messiah.
We could trace through the Old and New Testaments and read several times where the Lord reiterated His plan that “all families (people groups) of the earth be blessed.” We know that ultimately God’s promise to Abraham will be fulfilled because Revelation 7:9 gives us this picture of a future scene in heaven. “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;”
God promised all nations would receive the blessing purchased by Jesus on Calvary, and God always keeps His promises!
This ministry is all about finishing the mission of getting the gospel to the yet unreached and unengaged people groups of the world. Part of our ministry is teaching God’s plan everywhere we can.
2. The Barnabas1040 ministry is not just about money.
We have a problem in the 10/40 window. Although less than 2% of our missions money is targeting the over 75% of the world’s population who live there, money is not the ultimate solution. We are traveling on deputation with the goal of raising awareness of the problem and the solutions.
Why is it that the vast majority of people in the 10/40 Window are not only unreached but unengaged; meaning very few missionaries are attempting to engage them with the gospel?
I read a quote recently that sums it up quite succinctly.
“Unreached peoples are unreached for a reason; They’re hard, difficult and dangerous to reach. All of the easy ones are taken.”
Most people don’t want to go where it is hard, difficult and dangerous! One of our prayer requests is that more Western Christians would be willing to actually do what we love to sing about! We sing about going “anywhere with Jesus,” but when it comes time to go, too many of us look for the places that are easy.
At Barnabas1040 we believe that we need BOTH missionaries and national pastors working together to reach the hard, difficult and dangerous countries in the 10/40 Window.
That is why we are raising support to care for national pastors working under the mentoring of missionaries to plant indigenous churches among their own people. Obviously we need money to care for these workers on a temporary basis while they teach their people to give and become self supporting. But even more than we need money, we need missionaries who understand the biblical principle of indigenous missions! Far too many missionaries do not understand the difference between a pastor and a missionary. This critical misunderstanding leads to our too often failed policy of foreign missionaries: pastoring foreign style churches, financed by foreign money. No wonder the local people call this model, “foreign religion”! This model is not only foreign to them, it is foreign to the Bible!
If we are going to finish the mission of gathering worshippers from every nation, we must get back to the Bible principle of training and empowering local people to reach their own people.
3. The Barnabas1040 ministry is not just about you and your church
God has chosen to work through His body, the Church. The local church is God’s chosen instrument to be the custodian and proclaimer of His truth. The Church has been chosen, commissioned, empowered and authorized to preach, baptize and disciple. The local church is very important.
That being said, it is imperative that we not forget that God does not need us, we need Him! Missions is bigger than any of us. It is about God; and Him receiving the glory that He deserves. It is about the sacrifice of His Son. It is about Him seeing the results of His Son’s death.
“Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” Isaiah 53:10,11
Dwight, why not just get on the phone and try and raise your support? I guess because this thing is so much bigger than just raising my support.
Please pray for the almost 4 billion people in the 10/40 Window. Many of whom are still waiting for someone to bring them the gospel.
“There’s only one thing worse than being lost and that is being lost and having no one trying to find you.“