Monday, August 02, 2010

100% to Missions

Dave Dorr:

Our church gives 100% of its budget to missions.  That’s because our church is a mission.
Staff salaries are mission.  Benevolence (our fund to support those who are in need financially) is about missions.  Paying the rent, again, missions.
And why shouldn’t we think of church in America like this?  Are we still under the assumption that we are the chaplains to our culture, to use Ed Stetzer’s apt illustration?  We are missionaries.  We are not at home, even in our home country.  We don’t share similar world views with people outside of the body of Christ.
It’s hard to think like missionaries.  It is not intuitive to see the world where WE LIVE as missions.  After all, it’s home.  We speak the same language, we wear similar clothes, listen to similar music.  But we have forgotten, or maybe never learned, that we are really different.  This culture doesn’t share similar assumptions about God, man, justice, love, righteousness, etc.  We don’t have a common language anymore for these concepts.
So we must adapt, just like a missionary would.  No missionary would think that the culture where they are sent has to adapt to the missionary’s cultural norms.  The missionary, if they are worth anything, seeks to understand the culture and then find creative ways to communicate the gospel in a way that the people will understand.
All of this is rooted in the incarnation of Jesus Christ.  If we are to walk as He walked, then we need to be a missionary like He was; a missionary that did not look to his own interests, but the interests of others.  The Son of God came in a way we could understand.  He laid aside His rights as God to reach us — why should we not do the same?


Dustin said...

I like people focusing more on those around them and recognizing that they need to creatively engage the culture. But the question, then, is how do we distinguish between ministry in a reached city and an unreached city? Between a reached people group and an unreached people group (which might be in your city!)?

Churches could use this to make themselves feel good about giving to missions and not have any of their funds going towards cross cultural settings where there is no witness for Jesus. We still need some way to differentiate these realities if we want to be faithful in fulfilling the Great Commission ("all the nations").

Sharpy said...

I'm with Dustin here...My first couple reads of this quote made me cringe. I get what David Dorr is saying but I don't think it's all that helpful for the cause of Christ globally; in fact I think he's doing great damage and there are many more like him. This only encourages a more "American-centered" mindset of thinking our church & where it's located is the center of God's plans to the neglect to God's global purposes & the spreading of His glory.

Vitamin Z said...


I hear your concern but I think the point that Dave is trying to bring out is that all Christians need to be reminded that they have a call to witness for Jesus. Are there distinctions? Certainly, but there is a pressing need for our churches to be full of people who are committed and passionate about the mission of God to see his glory spread through all the world. Maybe this would be step one and then once they can understand and embrace that concept, it will be easy to show them that God's heart is for unreached in perhaps a different way than our American neighbors.

Anonymous said...

Ahem...I don't think so, David.