MF Behind the Scenes
Make Your Life Count: Be Strategic
All of us who are convinced of God's love for the lost and the importance of obedience to the Great Commission want our lives to count. We want to make a difference by establishing God's Kingdom in the hearts of people all over this world. But how do we as individuals each go about deciding where and how we will be involved in order to make the greatest contribution? This is the question on the hearts of many of the readers of this issue of Mission Frontiers. (See "So What Do I Do Now?" on page 18 for a helpful resource.)
For the first time in our history, we are sending a free copy of MF to each of the 19,000 students who attended the Urbana Student Missions Convention in December. Our thanks to our friends at InterVarsity Christian Fellowship for this opportunity. See the reply envelope for a special offer for all students.
Whether or not you are a student just back from Urbana with many questions about your future on your mind, you want God's best in your life and to know that your time and efforts are not being wasted. So how do you determine whether one ministry choice is more strategic than another?
We need to start by asking, "What is on God's heart and does he have a strategy that we should know about?" The Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course was designed to help answer this question. It presents the missions basis of the Bible and the ministry strategies that are clearly seen in Scripture. For example, in Matthew 28:19 where Jesus gives us the Great Commission, He is also giving us a strategy for accomplishing this commission. When Jesus said, "make disciples of all nations" He was not talking about going to every country and getting a bunch of individuals saved. The Greek word used there is ethne from which we get the term "ethnic group." The emphasis here is on discipling all the ethnic groups or peoples of the world. From the very beginning God has wanted us to focus on the unreached peoples of the world where people have no access to the Gospel and therefore no opportunity for a vibrant relationship with God. See the article on Perspectives starting on page 34 and visit a class in your area.
We can see that reaching peoples is God's main strategy, but what is God's ultimate purpose? Steve Hoke's article starting on page 20 explains well that the mission God has given to us is to raise up worshipers for God from every tribe and tongue so that He may receive the glory and worship that He deserves. We can see this international worship service in passages like Rev. 7:9 where Jesus is worshiped by people from every tribe and tongue. This is our ultimate calling and God's ultimate purpose for His people. Therefore it should guide all of our ministry decisions both corporate and personal.
The JESUS Film: It's Amazing
Three years ago we featured the JESUS Film Project in Mission Frontiers as they crossed the milestone of one billion viewers. At that time they set the goal of reaching four billion more by the end of the year 2000. They almost made their goal by reaching three billion more people in just three years. It took them 18 years to reach one billion viewers, yet in the following three years they reached an average of one billion more people each year. Incredible!
See the latest statistics starting on page 38 and the interview with Paul Eshleman, their director, on page 39 where he reveals many of the exciting new plans for The JESUS Film Project.
One of the most important accomplishments of the JESUS Film Project is the number of new partnerships they have developed with mission agencies and denominations who are now using the JESUS film as part of their own ministries. In 1997 the JESUS Film Project had established partnerships with 686 agencies. By the end of the year 2000 they had nearly doubled this to 1,195.
Their commitment to working with other organizations has a lot to do with the success that JESUS Film has seen. Their example should be an encouragement for all of us to work together in partnership wherever and whenever we can. We will always see greater progress in reaching the unreached peoples when we do.
We've Made Great Progress--But!
Last year we brought in more donations than ever before. Including advertising and donations, we covered 62 percent of our costs. This was a wonderful step forward, but it still left us $137,000 short of covering all of our costs. Even with a subsidy from the USCWM campus properties we have had difficulty covering all of the expenses from our last issue. This issue was delayed by a number of weeks because we did not have the funds that would allow us to print another issue. We need your financial help if MF is to continue coming to you.
If you are one of those who have already sent in your card marked, "Yes," then we have a question for you: "Can we count on your financial help to spread the vision of reaching the unreached peoples to new people across the world? We need all of our readers who are financially able to send in a gift of $18 or more. Please take a moment now, find the reply envelope in this issue, make out your check for $18 or more to Mission Frontiers and drop it in the mail today. For all of those who gave so generously last year, please remember that it is a new year and we need your continued support. We cannot continue to share this vision without you.