When we typically think of “Home Missions” we think of some adventurous, zealous, usually a younger person and their help meet going to a new city to start a new church, hopefully with some sort of a small nucleus. Could I dare to expand our thinking and maybe even our way of life or way of looking at our Christian responsibilities? Jesus said in Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (KJV) We have heard this used many times for mission advancement, we have heard Jerusalem could represent our home, Judea could represent those beyond the borders of the home, Samaria, those down and outers, despised or neglected ones, and uttermost parts of the earth as the reason for foreign misson efforts.
We have all heard the testimonies of those in church that testified “saved and sanctified” and that is great, but as a Pastor and as an Evangelist, I have wondered when was the last time that person witnessed for Jesus Christ? Check yourself, if you have been sanctified when was the last time you witnessed for your Lord? Jesus said this, “you shall be a witness” no ifs ands or buts about it. It really is not just you but the Holy Spirit in you that empowers and enables one to be a witness. A witness can take on many different forms and operations for the glory of God.
Now, I would like us to look at Home Missions as you being a witness right where you are, at your Jerusalem or your Judea or your Samaria. Don’t expect your church to grow and thrive if you are just reliant upon your pastor and what he does for Jesus. Launch out into the deep and be a witness. It is sure to pay big dividends.
Here are some ways you or some one assigned or dedicated to this ministry can be a witness for Jesus.
1. Carry and hand out a church card that is an invitation to come to worship at your church. Such a card should include invitation, address, service times, or a small history.
2. Have all your sanctified people carrying these and hand them out where ever they go, hand them out at gas stations, malls, grocery stores, the post office, doctors office, your mechanic and people at work.
3. Hand out the Pilgrim Nazarene Herald at houses with an invitation card. 4. Have a church sign that is big and easily read with services times.
5. A sign with a reader board is a good tool; some people will just pass by to see what new thing the board has to say. They may come to see what is going on.
6. Canvas the neighborhood, other neighborhoods afresh and a new, there are a lot of hurting people that need ministering to.
7. Get the names of new comers to your town from the Welcome Wagon or city counsel and send them a welcome and invitation to your services.
8. Go meet the new comers and take a welcome basket from your church. 9. Start a home Bible Study and invite new people to come.
10. Go to a restaurant or coffee shop and become acquainted with some new people, remember they need Jesus.
11. There are a lot of different ethnic groups in every city, begin an English class for them, you may reach some.
Now if that sounds like work, it is. But why are we Christians anyways? Is it just for me and mine? Or am I to share the good news of the gospel? We know the answer, remember the Apostle Paul said, “I care to know nothing among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified”. We must not become so occupied with the multitude of things that fill our days and forget our responsibility to be a witness. If we will do that it will put a new light and definition to “Home Missions”.
- Rev. Larry W. Pettit (pastor of Davenport, Iowa PNC)