God’s Call to Mission
2023 Super Bowl Champions Kansas City Chiefs have a lot to celebrate this season – including an upcoming game in Frankfurt, Germany. The contest will be one of five held internationally this Fall. The first three games, played in London, saw a number of fans, new and old, crowd the stands and dare to sing the American national anthem (which is ironically about the American Revolutionary War).
The NFL isn’t the only U.S.-based national league stepping out of its borders. In September, the NHL Global Series touched down in Melbourne, Australia for two sold-out matches. The league’s goal? Increase the global fanbase and future development of Australian NHLers. Of course, Steve Dimopoulous, the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events for Victoria, added that the rare attraction”[Is] a really great economic boost for us.”
Although the leagues’ outreach is economically-influenced, the mission to go beyond U.S. borders encourages acceptance of cultures and experiences different from our own while uniting fans and making the globe feel just a little smaller.
Each of us has this same call to go beyond our comfort zones and venture into new territories, new people groups, and new cultures with the greater purpose of fostering unity. Jesus calls us, as recorded in Acts 1:8, to spread the gospel locally, expanding our mission over time to reach the ends of the earth.
Sometimes this expansion is planned and sometimes it isn’t. As we see in Acts 8:1-17, 25, religious persecution scattered early Christians, and many of them were pushed into enemy lands. Yet, this is what gave them the opportunity to share the gospel with new people, make amends, and unify with each other in the body of Christ.
In the midst of wars that threaten our security it can be difficult to identify where it is safe to proclaim our faith. But faith in action, Hebrews 11 reminds us, is trusting that God has a plan for us, even if we don’t fully understand it. We can all be a little more like Abraham, who, “when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8 NIV).
Connecting: What aspect(s) of Adventist culture could be forfeited to reach others within our local communities? In other nations?
Sharing: Which of the following evangelistic stories most speaks to you and what do you take from it?
- Acts 8:26-40 – Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch
- Jonah – Jonah and the Ninevites
- John 4:1-42 – The Woman at the Well Shares Her Story with the Samaritans
- Joshua 2, 6:25; Matthew 1:5 – Rahab’s Faith Preserves Her Family
- The Life and Ministry of Paul
Applying: Review Acts 8:1-17, 25. In the midst of persecution, the gospel was preached and received by people previously regarded as enemies. How can you apply the lessons here to your life? Where have tragedies opened doors for you to reach others?
Valuing: Prayerfully consider how you can apply mission-mindedness to your daily life, and ask Holy Spirit to lead so that God’s will is done in your life.
~ Stefani Leeper