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Pastor Jay's Blog

Cue A New View

 

There are few things more helpful than learning something new and then getting to see it in action. To see it allows your learning to go from theoretical to concrete. But how is that going to happen when you are talking about something that involves amounts of time, money, and effort that you simply cannot create out of thin air?

The “Sounds Good” Theory

A recent example of this dilemma just happened to me. Within the last month I learned about a completely different approach to missions that I had never given much thought to. This concept is “Business As Mission’”. The basic idea is that there is one thing that everybody in the whole world wants: a good job. If you can provide a good job, the whole world will invite you to their doorstep. That reality is huge, because there are many countries in the world where not everyone is allowed into their borders. And by “everyone” I mean missionaries. So what is the church going to do if they cannot send trained gospel teachers/preachers to places where people have no access to the gospel? The answer: Give layman a vision of using their professional skills for the sake of the gospel. Our churches are filled with people who do jobs that closed countries need. Those closed countries will not only allow these men and women in, they will welcome them to come and set up shop. Those shops, run by gospel-loving Christians, will become places where relationships are built with employees, where gospel conversations spontaneously happen, where people see the hope and transformation of following Christ, and where discipleship is pursued.

The “Looks Good” Concrete Example

Now, that sounds good in theory. But how would you ever have access to seeing something like that in action? Cue a new view by the power of video. I had heard positive reviews of a videos series called Dispatches From The Front. These videos displayed mission work in hard to reach places. I have only watched one, but it was the one I needed to see. I watched the sixth episode, called The Power Of His Rising. It was quite amazing. This video followed an American family’s journey into a closed nation, where they started a coffee shop and bakery. This family also had purchased land to grow coffee beans. I was able to see for the first time an actual business being run for gospel purposes in a placed closed to the gospel. The gospel was everywhere. The bean growers had a job, but through that job they had heard about Christ and were coming to faith in Him. The employees in the shop were learning a valuable life-skill from a person who also showed them the value of Jesus and how He can change anybody by His grace. Over coffee, the customers in the shop were discussing spiritual things.

Barriers Falling, Excitement Rising

In vivid, engaging, full-color detail, with high production quality, I watched “business as mission”. That is so exciting to me. It is exciting, because I believe every born-again believer should seriously ask themselves why they should not be going to places where the gospel is known little to none. A year ago, if someone said to me that they couldn’t go because they were established in a career and they weren’t trained in seminary I would have heard that as a huge obstacle to overcome. Not anymore. Now I hear that as another avenue for gospel advancement. I think a barrier to gospel advancement, that of the ministry professional, is being removed. Business professionals can do gospel work overseas as well, and they need to ask 1) Should I drop everything be trained for gospel ministry, or 2) Should I drop nothing but leverage it for gospel work in other places (especially closed nations) that desperately need the gospel?

 

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