The following is an excerpt by David Hall from the latest edition of Missions Interlink Bulletin. The full version can be found here.
A few days ago I shared with mission leaders in Christchurch about the need for them to be Mission Myth Busters. But the challenge is just as important for you. There’s a lot of misunderstanding about missions today. It’s our job – it’s your job – to challenge the myths, exposing them for what they are: lies from the enemy.
There are so many myths, where to start? Let’s start with the idea some people have that ‘the day of missions is over.’ When we look back and think of the interest in missions in some circles ‘back in the day,’ we can indeed see a decline. For example, much time and effort by so many in the New Zealand missions community went into a large event called “Destination World – The Call,” yet only a few hundred came. And most of those were “the choir,” already involved to various degrees in missions. So it’s understandable why some would conclude “the day of missions is over.”
But what most didn’t notice is what God was up to behind the scenes. Today there are Kiwis serving the Lord overseas in some hard places as a result of The Call. And God indeed sparked a flame that is spreading missions in and from New Zealand. I helped arrange for a couple Pacific Islanders and a Maori to come as presenters to The Call. When they came and looked around, they said to themselves, “Where are our people? They should be here.” That led to a group of Pacific Island Christian leaders meeting, eating, and praying about what their role in missions was, is and ought to be. And that led to forming strong partnerships with both Pacific Island pastors and the NZ missions community via Missions Interlink, what we now call: Pacific2Nations.
Within a year we rented the largest facility in South Auckland. About 1500 PI’s came and over 400 responded to the call to missions. Over 150 PI’s went through the Kairos missions training. And a dozen or more short-term teams went to various ‘closed’ countries in Asia as well as Brazil and other nations.
Yes, mission personnel changes over time. And mission methods and foci have to be continually re-evaluated and adapted to be effective in different situations around the world. That’s happening, and the result is rapid growth of Christianity, especially in Asia, Africa and other hard places around the world.
As long as there are unreached peoples we’ll need missions. And New Zealand will likely always play a significant role in missions. You know the stats: There are more non-Christians in less-reached countries and nations, than ever before – between 2 & 3 billion are isolated from the Gospel. Poverty, conflict, injustice and other crises represent both challenge & opportunity to proclaim God’s kingdom.
I’ll say it again, as long as there are unreached – and people hurting, hungry, abused – the world will need missions! If you hear people say “the day of missions is over,” help bust the myth!