I would like to stir up our minds and our hearts and cause us to look at “home missions” in perhaps a different light. Usually, when we think of “home missions” we think of some one else and their work or labors to start or minister in a new mission or new church setting. I can’t help but wonder what would happen if across our churches we saw the birth of a “new home mission’s vision” and a real revival of a heart felt burden that perhaps gave a new definition to “home missions.” That new definition would include every born again believer in all of our churches and their responsibility to share with others the Gospel story that has changed their lives.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:13, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” He also said in Matthew 5:14, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.” In Luke 14:23, “The lord said unto the servant, go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” Here we see that this is to be the believer’s duty, responsibility, and “mission” in life – that is to share the gospel message and to let Christ live His life through our lives and be a witness to those who do not know the truth found in Jesus. We are to compel them to come in. We have to ask ourselves, is this being done now in our churches; or even more closely, am I doing this in my Christian life? If the answer is “no,” or “not very much,” perhaps you can see then the need to redefine “home missions” so as to stir our own hearts for those around about us that are lost and headed to a Christ-less eternity.
Lydia is an example of one who demonstrates faithfulness to Christian responsibility. She was a Gentile who became a Christian during the travels of Paul. One of the marks of faithfulness among believers is a willingness to share and help provide for the needs others. The Apostle Paul no doubt explained the forgiveness of sins and the need of baptism, and it appears Lydia was the first to respond. She and her household were baptized, which tells us she was a faithful witness to those of her own house. We can learn much by looking at her life. She was a doer, a worker for the Lord, a faithful example, and she served others. She not only opened her heart to the Lord but she opened her home to the people of God. Her generosity and hospitality are examples to be followed today.
How do we bring this to be a vital part of our life and make this a reality that these traits shine forth from our lives as well? Here are a couple of suggestions:
1. pick a person and pray daily to be a witness to them of God’s great love
2. take or make time to get to know some one and tell them of Jesus
3. make a pie, cake, bread or cookies and take it to a neighbor and be a witness
4. do a favor, show a kindness, help a friend or stranger without cost or charge to them, and show the love of Christ, endeavoring to win them to Christ
5. invite a church visitor over for Sunday dinner
6. invite a neighbor or someone to church and offer to pick them up
7. hold a Bible Study and invite unsaved people to attend
The main idea is to get busy and do some thing to win the lost before it is forever too late. The lost must be saved right here at “home” and not just on foreign fields with missionaries but this should be our “mission” – our “home mission” as well.
- Rev. Larry W. Pettit (pastor of Davenport, Iowa PNC)