International (MNN) — Most churches and organizations adapted or “pressed pause” on global missions work last year due to the pandemic. Yet, according to Barna researchers, the overall perspective on how to practice missions and global evangelism began shifting even before then, especially among younger generations.
“Christians as a whole are biblically illiterate; they don’t know what the Bible even says about being a disciple-maker,” Keys for Kids Ministries Executive Director Greg Yoder says.
“When you go into a local church, and you say the word ‘missions,’ you get a blank stare from 91% of the people sitting in the pews because they instantly say ‘I’m not a missionary.’ But the reality is, we’re all called to be disciple-makers.”
Keys for Kids helps kids and teens engage with God’s Word through daily print and audio devotionals. Action steps encourage young people to share the Gospel.
Yoder says proclaiming this truth, along with humanity’s need for a Savior, distinguishes so-called “faith conversations” from evangelism.
“Jesus called us to be His mouthpiece, to be His ambassadors,” he states.
“It’s ultimately the Word of God, the good news of Jesus Christ, that transforms lives – not just a religious story.”
Yoder adds that families can be disciple-makers and live out Christ’s Great Commission call without changing their address. “What is missions? No, it’s not going around the world,” he says.
“It’s talking to your next-door neighbor about Jesus. It’s talking to your family members about Jesus.”
3 steps to living “on mission”
The first step lays a critical foundation. “Pray that the Holy Spirit will do a work in your family. We are asking the Holy Spirit to change our minds about missions,” Yoder says.
“Pray earnestly that the Holy Spirit will do work in our hearts and that we can lead our families to be evangelists where we live and breathe today.”
Next, “find out where you can get involved,” Yoder suggests. “Maybe it’s praying for the work that we’re doing or investing in some of the things we’re working on. Maybe it’s just encouraging people within your church to have devotions.”
“We’re completing a project in Russia and Ukraine, and we’re super, super excited about launching a program focused on Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran,” Yoder says.
“There are new followers of Christ that want to know Jesus better, and we’re hoping Keys for Kids Ministries can be a part of that. Not just through our print, but even more importantly, through audio, because many of these areas of the world are oral learners.”
Thirdly, look for Gospel opportunities around you. Consider “going somewhere and doing something; maybe going on a short-term mission trip,” Yoder suggests.
“You can go to a soup kitchen, or maybe go to an area where there is a need for redevelopment. For example, [Hurricane Ida] ravaged Louisiana. I’m sure there are lots of needs there.”
No matter where the Lord leads, you can be His faithful witness.
“You [and] your family [can] be a part of that; not just doing the physical labor, but then sharing the good news message of the Gospel,” Yoder says.
“There are so many people here in North America that need Jesus as well.”
Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Christian Lue/Unsplash.