This is an article from the July 1980 issue: China

Team Play

Team Play

How many oceans must be crossed before a person is involved in Christ's Great Commission? World evangelization encompasses far more than praying, giving, and going. Exploring the concepts of "micromissions" and "macromissions" can bring into focus the full panorama of tasks involved in world missions.

"Micromissions" involves those people who are living and working among the people to whom their ministry and tasks are directed. Church planters, teachers of national Christians, and "tentmaking' missionaries are vocational micromissionaries. Every Christian, no matter what his vocation, is a  micromissionary when he seeks to draw a non Christian friend into fellowship with God.

"Macromissions includes those mission related tasks which do not receive immediate response from the people to whom they are directed. Mission anthropologists, mission executives, home office workers, and promoters of missions interest are all macromissionaries. The US Center for World Mission works in macromissions, training future missionaries, challenging Christians with a frontier missions vision, and researching new strategies to penetrate Hidden People cultures.

You may have asked yourself, "Really, how can my life actually touch the lives of Hidden People? The root question here is "What is the relationship between macromissions and micromissions?"

A look at a familiar scene will help illustrate how macromissions is the vitally necessary complement of micromissions.

Tense anticipation fills the air like fog. A fast break! Racing downcourt, the star forward receives a lofted pass and slam dunks the winning basket.

As the crowd roars, teammates pummel each other's back. Fans fill the court, embracing players, and the joyful melee of an outstanding basketball game envelopes the entire stadium in a spirit of comraderie.

Who won the game? One forward shot the winning basket. But the ball was expertly passed by a teammate. The strategic last play was called by the coach. And the fans provided the critical invigorating atmosphere.

Everyone in the stadium influenced the game. The team players moved the ball with their hands, in direct contact. The were playing "microbasketball."

The coach, having devoted countless hours training his team and drilling them on special plays, brought to the game invaluable experience and study. He was not moving the ball himself but was. a crucial factor in the game. He was playing "macrobasketball."

Enthusiastic fans, often called the "6th member of the team", added just the needed inspiration for the players to make one last heroic effort. They, too, were playing "macrobasektball"    not moving the ball themselves, but vitally involved in the game.

Just as the joint teamwork of players, coaches, and fans is necessary to win a great game, so too the joint teamwork of those ministering on the field and those in support roles is necessary to win men for God's kingdom.

Christians at home, like basketball fans, often do not realize just how critical a role they play. No ballteam, no matter how talented the players or how famous the coach, will ever play their best for an empty grandstand.

Macromissionaries provide the spiritual support and financial backbone without which no culture is introduced to Christ.

Only macromissionaries can effectively build a launching pad for new thrusts to frontier fields How?  

Far beyond praying, giving, and going, a macromissionary can grow in his world awareness and campaign for the cause of the unreached. By sharing his global faith, a macromissionary can encourage other Christians to study missions and consider the provocative challenge of giving their lives to world evangelization.

Here is the stark reality:

The present level of missions interest prayer, and giving will never suffice if a significant impact is to be made on Hidden Peoples Tens of thousands of new missionaries - macromissionaries, must be recruited. Recognizing the awesome task, one person has said,

"It's easier to convert 10 men to Christ than one Christian to missions."

Through its educational materials and vision sharing program, the US Center for World Mission strives to help Christians grow as macromissionaries. By learning about the Hidden Peoples and by sharing your concern, you are laying the critical love and prayer foundation of macromissionaries, rounding out "full teams" that can reach the world's leastreached peoples.

World missions, unlike basketball, is not a game    it's a war, with stakes far higher than the loss of a point. How much more should our concern for winning the nations exceed the avid enthusiasm of macrobasketball players we know?

Become a macromissionary; play ball!


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