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The Effectiveness of Missional Discipleship: 5 Reasons Your Local Church Should Be Supporting Missions


Many churches work together to support foreign missionaries in faraway places, send congregants as either long-term or short-term missionaries and/or serve as giving partners to ministries that prioritize evangelism and discipleship internationally.  

Some ministries contribute to the efficient process of building up local evangelists reaching their own people for Christ; just as we are each effective in our own locales, national ministers are also highly effective in their own communities. They intimately know the languages, cultures and people to whom they are ministering—and they don’t need a passport to do it!  

I once read somewhere that Jesus did not say, “Send someone from your church to all the nations.” Sometimes our best ministry is in helping and building up those evangelists and pastors worldwide who are already moving for the kingdom in their own communities. Any church of any size can pray for and give to these ministries and have a direct connection to what God is doing around the world. 

However if we choose to obey the Great Commission, can we agree that reaching the lost quickly and efficiently is of primary importance and doing so as effectively as possible is pleasing to the Lord? 

It is of utmost importance that our churches support missions. Here’s five reasons why:  

1. Support Missions Because if Believers Do Not Tell the Story, It Won’t Be Told. 

The billions of lives at stake make this a high priority for each of our churches. Twenty-five years ago, in a hostel in Mozambique, I found a treasure of a book by Norm Lewis. He wrote, “To evangelize the world with God’s Good News is not an option for the follower of Christ. Jesus made worldwide witness the business of every believer.”  

We must do what only the church can do. There are many good things we can do around the world to help others, such as feeding the poor, helping orphans, digging water wells and providing for the medical needs of the sick. These are all great acts of benevolence that we should do for others. Yet, as believers in Christ, we cannot do those things in place of reaching the lost and making disciples. When we serve in these tangible capacities, we must also bond them with evangelism and discipleship.  

Evangelism and discipleship. If the church doesn’t do these things, no one else will. The souls of people everywhere depend on it. As believers, we are his ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20), and Paul describes the seriousness of our job “as though God were pleading through us.”   

Are we pleading with others to follow Christ?  

But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15)

2. Support Missions Because It’s Almost Quitting Time. 

Time is running out. God has turned over the hourglass of time, and soon, the last drop of sand will fall. Our world is an utter mess. If we ever needed evidence that sin separates people from God, we can simply look around.