Ice Breaker - Why missions?
- Has someone in the group been on a mission's trip?
- Has anyone in the group experienced being in another culture?
- Why should I be concerned about the global harvest of souls?
How can a few people change a nation let alone the world? Have you ever felt overwhelming inadequate in the face of the issues facing the world today: poverty, injustice, oppression, false religion, and immorality. When you see the news of what is happening in Tibet, or the Sudan or Iraq and Afghanistan, do you ever feel overwhelmed? Does the task seem too hard? God asks us to pray for his kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. However, what does it take to bring God's message of hope into these situations?
The focus of our World Impact mission is the unreached. We are raising up fervent followers to reach out across cultures to impact unreached peoples. The January 2008 International Bulletin of Missionary Research records that there are 1.9 billion people in the world today that are unevangelised. That is they are unaware of Christianity, Christ and the gospel message. Another way of looking at this is that 86% of all Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims do not personally know a Christian.
Every one of them is a soul precious to Christ. Yet 91% of all Christian outreach/evangelism targets other Christians, many in wealthy countries and cities, rather than non-Christians who are unevangelised. Missions at CityLife is all about raising up fervent followers of Jesus Christ who have a heart and passion to impact the unreached. A few fervent followers can make a difference in reaching people in other nations who have never heard of Christ, if we are intentional about it. While at times the task may seem huge, history shows a few people can change the world especially when they take their mission seriously and communicate it with passion.
Every church planting movement starts with a few passionate followers of Christ who takes the great commission seriously. That does not mean it is easy or that the work does not require diligence, perseverance and an inner fortitude. However, when we combine passion with cultural understanding, biblical principles of growing the church and a willing to take risks and reach out across significant barriers of language, race, politics and culture then a few fervent followers can change the world.
'A small group of thoughtful people can change the world' - Margaret Mead.Read Mission Bible Verses
Who are the Un-Reached?
- "How can they hear without someone preaching to them?" -- Romans 10:14
- Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15 - The Great Commission
- "The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest" -- Luke 10:2
The number of people in the world today who have never heard the name of Christ is 1.9 billion. If all the unevangelised peoples in the world stood shoulder to shoulder they would stretch around the world 22 times. It would take 50 years of filling the MCG everyday before they all had a chance to visit our sporting icon. 1.9 billion people would stretch shoulder to shoulder from Sydney to Melbourne 1087 times. Any way you look at it that is a lot of people.Statistical Data on Unreached People Groups:
The statistics of the numbers of non-Christians can be 865 million unreached Muslims or Islamic followers in 3330 cultural sub-groupings.
- 550 million unreached Hindus in 1660 cultural sub-groups
- 150 million unreached Chinese in 830 groups
- 275 million unreached Buddhists in 900 groups
- 2550 unreached tribal groups (which are mainly animistic) with a total population of 140 million
- Forming a smaller -- though important -- unreached group are the 17 million Jews scattered across 134 countries
- Good news: Missions researcher David Barrett says the country with the most rapid Christian expansion ever is China where there are 10,000 new Christian converts every day.
Bible Translation Availability
At least some part of Scripture has been translated into 2,212 of the world's 6,500 languages
- 366 languages have the entire Bible
- 928 other languages have the New Testament
- Individual books (such as the Gospel of John) are available in 918 additional languages
80 percent of the world's people have access to at least some portion of the Bible in a language they can understand.
(10/40 Window: Do you need to be stirred to action? Last Updated: February 4, 2008 - URL: http://home.snu.edu/~hculbert/1040.htm
.)Who are the CityLife Missionaries and Where are They Working?
- Look at the profiles (available in the Leaders Area of the website) of the missionaries who are currently being supported by CityLife Church.
- Borrow a DVD from the Missions Department on missionaries at CityLife.
Why should We as a Life Group Support a Missionary?
Discuss the role of the Life Group as an 'Active Sender'
Discuss: the Great Commission and our part in it.
- A 'Goer': who goes cross-culturally to communicate the Gospel
- An 'Active Sender': who provides strategic support from the home base
- An 'Equipper': who aids the task of missions by mobilising others, or
- A 'Welcomer': who befriends internationals visiting this country.
How should We Choose Someone to Support?
- Christian teamwork within the local church.
- The value of all people and culture.
Reasons for choosing a missionary:
As a Life Group How can We Support a Missionary?
- Similar background to the Life Group e.g.: same ethnic group, young families.
- Interested in the work that the missionary is doing e.g.: children's work.
- Life group members know the missionary.
- Region the missionary is working in.
How to Adopt a Field Worker for Your Life Group
- Send letters/emails (be sure to follow the protocols for letter writing in regards to your missionary, particularly if they are in a sensitive area).
- Remember birthdays, Christmas and special occasions.
- Keep them up to date with local news e.g.; footy scores.
- Take video footage of your Life Group and send it.
- Have the children in your group draw pictures or make cards.
- Have an 'international meal' and try the food that your missionary is eating.
- Support them financially.
- Think about going to visit your missionary (it's not as outrageous as you think!).
- Introduce the idea to your Life Group
- Hold a missions night where you discuss missions, look a the field workers available, have a missionary or someone from World Impact come and talk with you, watch a World Impact DVD. You may wish to hold these activities over a number of weeks.
- In consultation with your group, make a decision on who you would like to adopt.
- Let the World Impact Office know about your decision. This can be done by getting on the CityLife Church website at www.citylifechurch.com. Go to the World Impact tab; look for 'Adopt a Field Worker'. You will need to use a password and username. Fill in the form and send it off to the World Impact Office. If you don't have access to the Internet, phone the church office and ask for the World Impact Office. They should contact you with a confirmation and will send you some information on the field worker that you have adopted.
- Appoint someone in your Life Group to be the mission's coordinator. It will be their responsibility to remind the group when the missionary's birthday is, to encourage people to write letters pray and to regularly bring the missionary and their needs to the attention of the LG.
- When you adopt a missionary it is important that this is not just a superficial act. The missionary that you will be adopting needs your prayers, concern, and actions to ensure that their work on the mission field is successful. Support from home is essential for successful missions work.
- If your LG multiples, please ensure that your missionary is adopted by at least one of the multiplying groups. Too often when a LG multiples, the missionary is lost in the transition.
Enjoy looking after your adopted missionary. This can be a rewarding and unifying activity for the Life Group.