7 Reasons to Think as a Missionary to Evangelize North America

I realize that not everyone has a “call” to serve internationally as a missionary, but I do think we must all think as missionaries if we’re going to reach North America. Here are some reasons why:

  1. All evangelism is, in some ways, a cross-cultural experience. As believers, we’re “aliens and strangers” – pilgrims in this world (1 Pet. 2:11). Our worldview is different than the people we’re trying to reach, so we’re moving into a different culture when we connect with non-believers.
  2. No longer can we assume that others accept the Bible (if we ever could). It seldom works now simply to say, “Well, the Bible says,” and assume that the other person accepts that authority. Some people around us, in fact, might hear the Bible for the first time from us.
  3. To reach people, we need to know them. Missionaries intentionally leave their “safe” place to go where the lost are. In too many churches, our pattern is just the opposite: we retreat from the world to protect ourselves from their stains. We’ll never reach people we do not know.
  4. Effective evangelism requires our better understanding the worldview of others. I need to know if the person to whom I’m speaking is an atheist . . . or a pluralist . . . or an “ist” of some other world religion. Missionaries understand the importance of learning about their people group as they seek to reach them.
  5. Evangelism requires our speaking to people in their language. That’s not to say that we never use biblical terms; it’s simply to say that we have to learn how to speak and explain in ways that non-believers understand. That’s the process of “language” learning that missionaries know so well.
  6. God is bringing the nations to us. Just look around. Listen. People from all around the world now live among us. Places of worship of other faiths are dotting our landscape. If God’s bringing people to us, it’s our responsibility to learn about them, get to know them, love them, and strive to lead them to Christ. We go to them – like missionaries do – rather than wait for them to come to us.
  7. Our task is overwhelming and impossible. We can’t reach people apart from the power of God. Missionaries know this truth, perhaps because they’re often serving in hard soil. We are, too, so we must pray as fervently to reach North America as missionaries pray to reach their people groups around the world.  

What would you add to this conversation? 

8 Comments

  • ony Allen says:

    My Thoughts:
    While the whole article is thought provoking and very relevant to the church today, I found Chucks points numbers 3 and 7 very personal convicting. The point he is making in the third of his seven is something that has been on my heart for some time, That is the church should be a launching pad for the Word into the world not a place of safe retreat from the world. And finally, a verse of scripture came to mind as I read his seventh and last point, But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26 (KJV)” (also see: Mark 10:21; Luke 22:61) When we use the church as a place of retreat from the world we are limiting the power of God, Jesus said, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Luke 10:19 (KJV), With that kind of power what do we have to fear?
    Tony Allen

  • Charles says:

    I think #3 and 5 are so important. Learning to be a friend can be a catalyst to showing you really care about them. Years ago we took our neighbors daughter to Sunday school and the mother dropped by to thank my wife. She invited her up to have gravy and biscuits after I left for work. After 2 weeks of meeting each Monday morning she confessed she felt bad about not going to church with her daughter. After 3 weeks she and her husband accepted the Lord and within a year her husband became the youth leader and his wife the pastors secretary where she served for 20 years

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