The Scriptural Purpose of Our Church’s Involvement in Missions
Isaiah 12:4 – “Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted.”
Our Definition of Missions
Crossing cultures to actively participate in God’s mission to redeem all peoples to their original purpose of glorifying God and enjoying Him forever
How We Carry Out Missions
Sending short term trips from our church
Commissioning/supporting long term missionaries
Addressing the physical and spiritual needs of people groups
Working towards church planting movements and scripture translations in the heart language
A continual focus on unreached people groups
An important effort was made to define the terms missions and evangelism.
Evangelism has been defined as all outreach occurring at the E0 to E1 levels (please refer to the E-Scale at bottom) including renewal evangelism of church members and evangelism of non-Christ followers with no contact with the church.
Missions has been defined as all outreach occurring at the E2 and E3 levels (please refer to the E-Scale at bottom), including evangelism of non-Christ followers in a similar but different culture and evangelism in a completely different culture.
The E-Scale represents the cultural distance that Christ followers go, or need to go, when sharing the gospel.
E-0 evangelism is evangelism that takes place within the church. This is reaching out to those who already attend or participate in local church activities. There is no need for the Christ follower to move outside of his own culture or cultural boundary, as the one he is seeking to reach is already a part of it. It’s greatest focus is renewing wayward Christ followers and bringing those who participate, but haven’t yet believed to the point of a personal decision.
E-1 evangelism is evangelism that takes places outside of the church, but to the same culture. This is reaching out to those who do not participate in any local church activities, but otherwise have mostly similarities with respect to cultural views and practices. There is very little need for the Christ follower to move outside of his own culture, as the one he is seeking will already fits in pretty well with the church culture. It’s greatest focus is on reaching lost family members of Christ followers, their co-workers, and others with whom they may already associate outside of church.
E-2 evangelism is cross-cultural evangelism into a similar, but different culture. This is reaching out to those who may or may not speak the same language, but certainly have different backgrounds. Here there is a need for the Christ follower to stretch himself and become aware of his own cultures additions to biblical practices, as the one he is seeking will often find them to be hindrances to faith. It’s greatest focus is not on bringing people into the church, but rather bringing the church to a new place.
E-3 evangelism is cross-cultural evangelism that takes the message of Christ to cultures very different from that of the messenger. This is reaching out to those who have never heard of Jesus or who have a culturally instated resistance to Christ followerity. Here there is a need for the Christ follower to radically strip off his own culture from the gospel message and identify the barriers, gaps, and bridges to faith that exist in the unreached person’s culture. It’s focus is exclusively on bringing the church to a new place.