Western Christians have a lot learn from the example of our brothers and sisters in the developing world. I’ve already written about how we should imitate them when it comes to biblical orthodoxy and commitment to prayer. I also believe it’s high time for us to follow their lead when it comes to answering God’s call to missions work.
I discovered this first hand when I traveled India late last year. While I was there, I had the opportunity to meet a 24-year-old Indian pastor who told me his story.
Two years beforehand, he sensed God was calling him into pastoral ministry. He initially resisted this call. Young, illiterate, and theologically undertrained, he didn’t feel up to the task. Leading older and more mature Christians seemed ridiculous.
But one night, the Lord prompted him again to pursue pastoral ministry, this time through a dream. The following day, a pastor he knew approached him. This experienced pastor encouraged my young acquaintance to consider pastoral ministry.
My friend took this as a sign. He immediately began learning to read and write, and pursued theological training. He now leads a congregation in one of India’s largest cities.
This young Indian pastor certainly didn’t attend a top seminary. He didn’t earn an Ivy League degree in theology. But he learned enough to pursue God’s call on his life.
I believe many Western Christians could learn from this young pastor’s faith-filled response. Many of us make excuses when it comes to spreading the Gospel as missionaries, pastors, or faithful church members. We continue living our comfortable lives instead of becoming effective “goers” and “senders.”
We can sound like Moses, who asked of God: “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11, ESV)
Moses allowed his self-doubt to overwhelm his faith in God and His mission, a feeling I’m sure many of us can relate to.
Today, God’s redemptive plan extends beyond the nation of Israel. His plan involves more than sending one messenger to bring a single ethnic group out of physical slavery. Instead, He sends each of His followers to redeem all tribes and tongues from spiritual captivity.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,” Christ commanded His followers (Matthew 28:19, ESV).
Christ calls on each Christian to help build His Kingdom. But fear, self-doubt, and the allure of an easy life threaten to divert us from pursuing our God-given mission.
As Western Christians, we can feel entitled to achieving emotional well-being, personal fulfillment, and material wealth. However, Christ commands us to prioritize His Kingdom above even our most basic needs like food, drink, and clothing: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33, ESV)
We face a choice. Will we personally respond to God’s call to build His Kingdom or worship the idols of security and comfort instead? It’s a difficult decision to make, but it’s not a complicated one.