Who is a Missionary?
What identifies a missionary? Commitment to God's plan. To be fully identified with Christ compels effort to achieve His worldwide goal (Mk.15:16).
Jesus Christ came to implement God's redemptive plan made before the foundation of the world. That task will one day be finished. God is God; His plan will prevail, His goal be achieved.
This Good News of the Kingdom must be preached all over the world so that all nations hear the truth and then the end will come (Mt. 24:14)
The real missionary thus has a nonnegotiable goal. His aim is to finish the Godgiven task. Unless he moves toward that goal, he fails. If he burns out in that task he succeeds. Like young Golaz, dying within a year after reaching the Senegambia. To those who wiped the sweat from his forehead the dying man said, "It matters not if the first laborers fall in the field. Their successors will march past them with great strides."
God set the goal
Early in God's dealings with our race He revealed His worldwide goal (Gen.12:3). God's Son confirmed that goal in every statement of the Great Commission.
Jesus Christ said, "I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it."
The book of Acts tells how church planting was launched. It has continued to now with impressive results.
The current reality of churches worldwide can be pictured quite simply. There are three kinds of areas:
A.'Already with churches;
B. Being churched;
C. Completely unchurched.
In terms of vital strategy, A and B are subordinate to C. Their strategic value lies in what they can contribute to planting churches in area C.
Major focus on Area C is not an option. Priority, not preference must govern the Church's attitude. "First right" to receive missionaries and equipment of "war' stems from God's plan. His goal must have preeminence.
Think of a team of men building a Boeing 747. To build fuselage and engine might require years. The quality of those parts might leave something to be desired with scheduled time far spent. But common sense would demand the building of the wing. Not waiting to perfect all other parts? Right! Perfection of engines and fuselage would not be enough. Only with the wing finished could the plane fly.
Just so with missions. Areas A and B will always have needs. There will always be things to improve. But the demands of Area C are overwhelmingly urgent. Churches must be planted there, whatever the cost.
Godly people accept the goal
David Livingstone carved his way through Africa's jungles. He said, "I will open a way to the interior or perish." His aim was to finish the Godgiven task. Thus he said, "I am willing to go anywhere, provided it be forward."
Hudson Taylor wrote, "I feel as if I could not live if something is not done for China." How many bear that burden today?
These men followed the policy set by the Apostle Paul. "I was ambitious to tell the Good News only where Christ's name wasn't known" (Ro.15:20).
Missionary research today has made clear the awesome size of area C. Of the world's peoples who do not call themselves Christian, 83% are there. They comprise 2.5 billion people who are still denied a church of their own kind. Who cares? Do you? Do I?
Let's help every missionary agency which is willing to do something about those sad statistics.
Godly people will achieve the goal
Attention is today being focused on Area C. Its inhabitants are called "hidden peoples". Their boundaries are more ethnic and political than geographical. These people are being pinpointed in many parts of the world.
To plant churches among them will require thousands of missionaries with special spiritual and cultural qualities.
Christian college students form an enormous human resource pool. How can they be made to see the world from God's perspective? On secular campuses they get not a glimpse of God's plan. Yet 85% of Christian students are there.
The first college campus whose major thrust is to offer Christians from secular schools the opportunity for a lifechanging orientation is now in operation here in Pasadena.
The Institute of International Studies is a specialized, concentrated course. In a single quarter or semester it permits a student to get a wholly new perspective.
The course has been used for several years with impressive results. It is hoped this model will spawn similar programs in Christian colleges across America.
How else will thousands of students become aware of the awesome reality of Area C?
This is what USCWM is about. The true missionary presses toward a nonnegotiable goal. God gave the goal, to Him we must answer for its accomplishment.