Mission is no longer from the West to the Rest. Mission is from Everywhere to Everywhere. Immigration and global peoples’ movements have changed missions. That is why we can easily find unreached nations in our neighbourhoods, streets or door steps.
Melbourne is a cultural capital & a strategic mission field. Let me give you some statistics to support this- • In Melbourne, there are close to 200 nationalities, speaking over 233 languages and dialects and following 116 religious faiths. • 200,000 international students from 170 countries studied in various universities and colleges in Melbourne in 2019. • About 27% of Melbourne population were born overseas.
God has brought nations so that they may have an encounter with Him. Therefore, it is important to re-imagine missions and look at the local mission harvest field from a fresh perspective.
In Luke 9: 1-6 we see Jesus commissioning his followers for a neighborhood impact.Luke 9:1,2,6 “1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick… 6 So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.”
Jesus intensively trained and coached His disciples and commissioned them to go out on their own and do what He taught them to do.
The disciples observed Jesus joining sinners at their party, touching & healing the lepers, and blessing people from other races and cultural backgrounds.
Jesus was actively praying, listening, eating, serving and sharing the story of the Kingdom with the people in Israel. In His practice of the BLESS rhythm, Jesus identified the needs of His neighbourhood. He was addressing and meeting physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs of His community.
Even today, our society is not different. 2000 years after Jesus, everyone of us still deal with similar challenges regardless of our race, language, and religion. We often face challenges that cannot be fully addressed by our health care & social welfare systems. That is what we witness in our neighbourhoods.
A mobilised Body of Christ, is the only authorised agent from God to point people to the place of true peace and freedom.
To impact nations in our neighbourhoods we can do two things-1. Learn about a different culture:
The more we learn about other cultures the easier it is to strike a meaningful conversation and relationship.2. Join God where He is working in people’s lives (in your neighbourhood).
What is joining God at work mean?
It means to pay attention to what God is already doing in the lives of our neighbours and respond by sharing the hope we have in Christ (1 Peter 3:15). God is at work in the lives people everywhere (John 16:8)
Two ways you can participate in global missions in the field.
1. Prayer - Prayer is indispensable! The bible says, ‘The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16. Take time to pray for our Mission Partners.
2. Financial Giving is another most powerful way of participating in global missions. Whether you give $10 or $1000, it does not matter. Every dollar counts in the mission field. Discussion Questions
1. What is your experience with people from a different culture here in Melbourne?
2. How can we join God where He is at work in people’s lives? Can you give some examples?
3. Read John 16:8 and discuss the role of the Holy Spirit in the nations.
4. What can your Life Group do to engage in local missions here in Melbourne and overseas?