What can the local church do to support the body of Christ around the world?
Eddie Byun | MAY 14, 2019 | 2 MIN READ | 4 MIN WATCH
Note from SOLA: This video was recorded during The SOLA Conference 2019. Below is a transcript of the video. It has been lightly edited for readability.
The local church has an important role to play in terms of effective partnership with the global missions work that God desires to see happen. There's a few things we can do in particular.
One is to create a strong sending culture within our local church body in terms of teaching on the importance of a global missions and the priority of the Great Commission. The resources that have been given to us need to be used to finish the Great Commission within our lifetime.
Creating that culture would involve creating opportunities for [the church body] to go, whether it's through short term missions, and also to put the importance of the unreached, unengaged people groups of the world on the radar for our churches in terms of how we pray, what we pray for, praying for the missionaries that we support, and also for specific people groups that have yet to know the Lord.
Creating a strong sending culture is going to be important, but along with that is creating a strong supporting culture. Some stats tell us that most of the money given for missions work, about 95%, go to missions work that is reaching parts of the world where people have been reached with the Gospel already.
So less than 5% of missions giving is going towards the unreached people groups of the world, and so we need to begin to see a shift happen. That means we need to be very conscious and intentional about making sure that we put a higher priority on our mission strategies -- our going and our giving -- towards parts of the world that have no Gospel witness or no local church in those communities yet.
Having that giving and the supporting culture would mean we need to become more and more generous in our giving as well -- to be strong in our giving towards missions, to be strong and generous in our support of pastors and missionaries as well, so that we can give them the freedom and flexibility to really dive headfirst into the mission projects that God would place upon their hearts.
I think another area that would really cultivate a stronger role for the local church in global mission efforts would be to create a culture within your church where you are able to really be an encouragement to your missionaries in terms of letting the church pray and engage with the missionary -- to know them by name and to know their faces on a regular basis. This could be through your weekly bulletins, monthly prayer meetings that you could have that’s focused on missions efforts, and also to find ways to be an encouragement to them so that they know that we are thinking of them.
This could be by having a small groups adopt a missionary, by having small groups adopt a part of the world or an unreached people group, and to send care packages, teams, and waves of support so that they’ll know that this local church is very concerned about what is going on in his or her country.
Eddie Byun grew up in the suburbs of Chicago but spent the past 23 years pastoring and teaching in Canada, Australia, and Korea. Previously, he was the lead pastor of Onnuri English Ministry and Crossway Mission Church in Seoul, South Korea. He's the author of Justice Awakening, Praying for Your Pastor, and Praying for Your Missionary (IVP). He is also the Executive Director of the award-winning documentary Save My Seoul, which exposes the reality of sex trafficking in South Korea. Currently, he's the Teaching and Missions Pastor of Venture Christian Church in Los Gatos, CA. He is married to his wife, Hyun, and has a son named Enoch.