Our Missions Emphasis took place in September. While deadlines for this issue were before the conference took place, as part of this issue’s focus on being a missional people, we wanted to give a quick overview on GRBC’s focus on global missions, both our call and our emphasis, as expressed by church leadership. This is not a comprehensive policy statement but hopefully an accurate reflection of the emphasis GRBC will be featuring as it moves forward.
Why do Missions?
All nations (“ethnos” or people groups) rebelled against God
In the Abrahamic Covenant and elsewhere, God promises Abraham that all the families of the earth will be blessed through Abraham’s seed (Gen. 12:3, 18:18, 26:4)
Christ is the answer (Isaiah 2:1-4, John 1:6-13, Luke 2:29-32, Acts 10 & 11)
How to do Missions
As the Church is what we see God using to reach people in the New Testament, so our missions effort should all be tied into the establishment and strengthening of local church bodies and leadership. In the last 50 years an incredibly wide range of “ministries” have emerged under the guise of missions, but the proclaiming of the Gospel and the establishment of local churches must be the focus, as indicated in Scripture
“To the uttermost part of the earth…” – There has been some tendency in the missions community to concentrate on places that already have a lot of evangelical church presence. We believe there is a priority at this time of taking the Gospel to where it hasn’t been presented – as commanded by our Lord (Isaiah 66:18-24, Acts 1:8). This is the pattern established by Paul of getting churches established, and then moving on as others do the work of building churches up and establishing additional bodies among those people (1 Cor. 3:6-10, 1 Tim. 1:3-7, Titus 3:12)
There are an estimated 16,350 people groups according to The Joshua Project. Defining such group is based on languages, ethnicities, cultures, geographies and other factors. Whatever the precise number, there are A LOT (Genesis 12, Exodus 6:14-15, Joshua 7).
Nearly a third of the world’s 6,000 plus languages have no Scripture translation. More than half do not have the full Bible translated.
Continue the work begun in Acts 2 – the restoration of one people group (God’s people) from the many groups. GRBC supports 17 missionary families, only a few of which are involved in reaching unreached people groups, and some others involved in discipling and training leaders of other somewhat reached groups (“reached” is defined as having an indigenous, evangelical church established among that people group).
May God guide and bless our efforts to serve Him through our partnering with those seeking to faithfully fulfill Christ’s great commission.