For the Christian, the foundation on which all missions work is developed comes from Jesus command to his disciples as recorded in chapter 28 of Matthew's Gospel; "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,..." [Matt 28: 18] We often refer to this passage as The Great Commission.
While this command is meant to be undertaken seriously by ALL followers of Jesus, for many of us the idea of committing many years towards serving God in some far off place can be both daunting and practically impossible. The day to day obligations to others; whether family, friends or employers, can make us think that we may never be able to fulfill what Jesus asks of us.
Yet we should not become discouraged nor disheartened. Not all are called by God to devote their full lives to being foreign missionaries.
Jesus does not call all of us to do the same tasks for the Kingdom of God because God has not equipped all of us with the same gifts (see 1 Corinthians chapter 12).Nor does He expect us to abandon our other ministries, such as supporting our family, raising our children and being diligent employees in the work force, to venture around the globe proclaiming his Name.
Yet there is a way for disciples of Christ to answer Jesus' commission:Short-Term Missions.
A short-term mission work can provide believers several unique advantages.
- First; it give us the opportunity to do Kingdom Work that will have eternal impact while still staying connected to our own life and its demands.
- Second; it allows those who may be called towards a missions career the time to explore their own gifting and to partake in several fields of work prior to making a longer term commitment.
- Third; it can be a means for believer's to gain a deeper insight into the tasks and challenges found on a mission field so that they are better able to pray at home for those called into a long term missions endeavour.
That is why the Missions Committee at Faith Fellowship Baptist has set up a Short Term Missions Steering group, consisting of Celina, Imelda, Cathy and Bob to seek out opportunities for our congregation members to get "hands on" exposure to missions projects.