Int’l (MNN) – “We don’t want to be saved.” The message isn’t new, but its recent echoes in social media bring up questions of how Christians should fulfill the Great Commission.
Christ, Not Culture
Greg Kelley, CEO of World Mission, says negative responses to God’s Word, like those on social media, often come from a distorted view of salvation. “Sometimes people, we, can get in the way when we have other agendas and we’re trying to establish our own kingdoms instead of the kingdom.” Kelley says, “And so I think when other ulterior agendas get in the way, it kind of skews the real message of the Gospel, which is not about you become like me, but you become like Jesus and the freedom that the Gospel brings and it’s through the love of what happened at Calvary.”
Keeping personal agendas out of the Gospel means separating tradition from truth. Whether preaching in the US or to unreached people groups far away, all that’s needed is the God’s Word.
“The Gospel is the Gospel.” Kelley states. “It stands alone. It will look a little differently depending on what culture it is in. This is not a hostile takeover. This is all about the presence of God through Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit invading someone’s life.”
The message is the same for every culture. However, Kelley emphasizes, the way it is lived out can be different. Understanding that has propelled World Mission to look at Gospel work in a new light.
A Newer Model: National Christian Workers
When strangers from a different culture show up and start telling local people about a new God, there can be confusion about what that God requires. What exactly needs to change?
World Mission believes local believers answer these questions most effectively. National Christians have already asked the hard questions and seen the Holy Spirit at work in their own context. They also can speak without the cultural barriers outsiders face. That effectiveness in ministry is why World Mission focuses reaching the unreached through national partners.
“When we’re in areas that are primarily Muslim or Hindu, it is Muslim background believers who are Indians, Muslim background believers that are from Senegal and Indonesia [sharing God’s Word]. Now when they’re the ones delivering the Gospel it’s going to come through that understanding and that historical processing of what it was like before I came to Jesus. And that’s something you can’t teach in a seminary in America or download into another culture as effectively,” Kelley states.
National Christian workers eliminate some of the “we don’t want to be saved” fear that stems from a misunderstanding of what God requires. Instead they can show that what really matters is inner transformation by Jesus’s work on the cross, culture aside.
No Access to the Gospel
World Mission has found many national partners to help bring Christ into unreached places. Yet the work is far from finished.
Kelley says, “We need to understand that there’s over 2 billion people in the world who are without access. It’s not that they’re not Christians. It’s that they don’t have access to the Gospel. And we need to start thinking differently about how we do missions.”
Kelley asks for prayer that God would raise up national workers to go out into unreached people groups with the Gospel.
Supporting those workers is a major piece of World Mission’s work. Many unreached people groups are in oral cultures and can’t use traditional, written discipleship materials. To help facilitate Gospel understanding, World Mission supplies audio Bibles that have the potential to reach about 100 people each. But there is more than can be done.
Learn more and join World Mission today at worldmission.cc.
Header image courtesy of World Mission.