Although we work as missionaries we still think about world mission. Here are some thoughts and citations about that topic.
That is one thing I had to deal with early on in my ministry. I still wrestle with finances. I wrestle when people start talking about sums of $35,000 to $40,000 to keep a family in Europe. I ask, "Am I worth it?" I had to deal with the scriptural approach to missionary finances. The more I studied the Word of God the more I came to the conclusion that it was a privilege for the body of Christ to be involved in world-wide missions. They were the beneficiaries of our finances – of giving.
We often quote Philippians 4 at the time of a commissioning service, "And our God will supply all of your needs, according to his riches." But who is saying that? It's the missionary Paul who is saying it to the sending church. He's saying, "Don't worry. If you give to me, God will supply your needs. You're the beneficiaries."
Jesus said of himself: "The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." As apostle and in his task Paul led a "gypsy life" (as we would call it) which wasn't trivial. No wonder that he repeatedly encouraged his churches: "Pray for me ..." He needed prayer. All of our missionaries need it. – Some say: Why do they have to live such an unsettled life? "Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness", then you don't have to live from donations of other people and have a more relaxed, better life. Yes, certainly. If Paul would have stayed in Tarsus or in Antioch, he would have spared himself much tribulation (cf. 2 Cor 11:23ff). But God's call led him on this dangerous way. And therefore he needed the prayers of the other Christians! The same is true today: without churches and other Christians who support them, the missionaries can't survive and do their ministry.
There are only three possibilities in life; to be a goer, a sender, or disobedient.
Throughout Northern Europe we battle with the pressing issue of the Christian understanding of other faiths. While Jewish evangelization has become the focal point of the debate, it relates to evangelistic mission among people of any non-Christian faith. With the growth of ethnic minority communities in all our European countries this has become the burning is-sue. Do we still really believe that God has revealed himself uniquely in Jesus Christ, God become flesh and living amongst us? Do we believe that the death, resurrection and ascen-sion of Jesus Christ form God's particular way of salvation? If so, then how can we deny anybody the opportunity to enjoy salvation and fullness of life in Christ?
But does such an emphasis on our evangelistic calling lead us into an unacceptable arrogance and intolerance? Can we remain confident of truth in Christ and yet remain humble and loving? Can we also still be open to learn from the goodness and truth to be found within other faiths and their followers?
It seems to me that the church will stand or fall by our answers to these questions.
So we ought to realise then that missionary commitment is not some kind of optional extra for the extra-enthusiastic. Nor was it just a new idea invented by Jesus to give his disciples something to do with the rest of their lives. Still less was it a merely modern movement of the church that coincided with colonial expansionism. Mission lies at the very heart of all God's historical action in the Bible. Mission to his fallen, suffering, sinful human creation, and indeed ultimately to his whole creation as well. That is why he called Abraham, sent Jesus, and commissioned his apostles. For there is one servant people, one Servant King, one servant mission.
If you give twice as much than you intented to give you just give half of what you could afford to give.