The latest version of the 9Marks ejournal is up (PDF here). It’s all about missions, and there is a great deal of material to work through. I found the following article, “How to Get Businesspeople into Missions”, quite interesting.
The article first outlines how many Christians think of missions:
“Most churches already understand how they can support missions through prayer and financial support. Yet many churches overlook how members can put their business skills to work for the sake of overseas missions. Not only that, but it’s the members with real business skills who may provide the best access for Christians to obtain access to closed or restricted countries.”
It then shows how Christians of diverse backgrounds can involve themselves with missions:
“Business-as-Missions (BAM) is about creating legitimate businesses that enable church planting in areas that would otherwise be closed to evangelism.
BAM is needed today because it is increasingly difficult for church planters to live and share the gospel in many countries around the world. Think places such as Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and China, where governments continue to crack down on mission work. If we make it our “ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named” (Rom. 15:20), then we need to help church planters find creative means for gaining access into these countries.”
Great stuff. Read it and learn–and then support an exceptional business-as-missions group called Access Partners. They do terrific work out of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, wedding stout theology with passionate work.
Readers also will be interested in a great article by missions pastor and strategist Andy Johnson of Capitol Hill Baptist Church on “evangelical missionary pragmatism”, Jonathan Leeman’s insightful editor’s note on the import/export relationship in missions, and another piece by an unnamed author on rightly conceiving of contextualization.
As usual with 9Marks, there’s much more to be had here, including a review by Patrick Schreiner of a recent Os Guinness text. Read this stuff, pass it on, discuss it with a friend, and pray for an “evangelical missions renaissance” to counter “evangelical missionary pragmatism”.
I remember thinking about such things when in Hong Kong. Unreached cultures are wholly dependent on the teaching of missionaries and thus bear the marks–for good or ill–of the teaching they have received. How important it is that we ground foreign converts in permanent, strong, biblically faithful things so that their faith might not quickly fade into existing culture but persist until the day of Christ.
(Photo: YWAM website)