the weblog of Alan Knox

Simple Church and Global Missions

Posted by on Jan 26, 2011 in missional | 2 comments

Simple Church and Global Missions

Yesterday, some friends who were part of our fellowship boarded a plane for Switzerland. They should land sometime today. They plan to spend a year learning French before boarding another plane to the Congo. In the Congo, they will be working with a mission organization to develop written tribal languages, translate Scripture, and make disciples. People in our fellowship along with other friends around the country are supporting them during their year in Switzerland and their indefinite stay in Africa.

A couple of years ago, this same couple wanted to go to the Congo to get to know some of the people they would be working with and to get an idea of what their life would be like. The people from our fellowship (along with others) pooled their resources and paid for their trip there and back.

Another good friend who is part of our fellowship (Jason, who you may have met through the video interviews that we did together) plans to leave in about a month for a one year stay in South Africa. While there, he will be discipling young people and helping strengthen the church. People in our fellowship and other friends are supporting Jason during his stay in South Africa.

Jason also went to South Africa for a shorter visit a couple of years ago. Again, we contributed money to help Jason make that trip as well.

About two years ago, a young lady who was part of our fellowship left for a major city in Europe. She was completely supported by another mission organization. Our support has primarily come through praying for her and staying in contact with her. Now, the mission organization has decided that they are not going to support her anymore. So, what is she going to do? She plans to find a job and stay in Europe.

Last year, my friend Danny and I were planning to go to Ethiopia. As with all of our friends above, we did not have the resources necessary to pay for this trip. Our friends who fellowship together with us provided the funds we needed.

A few years ago, two young single ladies from our fellowship were moving to a country in the South Pacific for two years. During those two years, they were completely supported by a missions organization. However, they were required to travel alone through several airports with many heavy bags. A couple from our fellowship volunteered to travel with them to help them get to their destination. Once again, the believers that we meet with pooled their money and paid for this couple to travel with our friends in order to help them. About a year later, we also paid for another lady to spend some time with our friends while they were away from home in that South Pacific country.

I could give many, many more examples of how our fellowship has been involved in global missions. Primarily, I’ve only given examples of how people from our fellowship have traveled to other countries. I have not shared any of the examples of how we have helped people from other churches or how we have helped people who live in other countries.

So, why do I give these examples? Am I just blowing our horn. Not at all. While I’m excited about what God has done through us and how he’s used us, that’s not the purpose of this post.

When you think about the examples that I’ve given above, I want to remind you of something: our fellowship is very small in number. Typically, when we meet together, there are 30-50 people gathered. Often, during times of travel or sickness, the number is less.

We do not have a missions budget. We do no have a missions pastor. Instead, we have a group of believers who know that making disciples of the nations is their responsibility. Some go; others send. When they send, they take the money out of their pocket to provide the way (as one example of sending).

Yes, simple/home/organic churches tend to meet in small numbers. But, there is a HUGE advantage to these types of churches: very, very, very low overhead – if there is any overhead at all. For example, while we do pay a little rent each month, we do not pay salaries, nor do we fund programs. Instead, we encourage people to use their money to help people in need and to further the kingdom of God.

I would guess – and I don’t know because we have no way of tracking it – most of our fellowship’s money is spent helping people in our local area. However, the people are also very giving when it comes to supporting our friends who are traveling overseas to proclaim the gospel and to build up other believers.

There is a misconception that it takes large groups of Christians – either mega-churches or denominations – to do the work of global missions. This is foolishness. I hope this post gives at least one example of a small, simple group of believers who are doing their part to make disciples of all the nations. And, I hope this posts encourages you to get involved with global missions as well.


2 Comments

Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 1-26-2011

    Thanks for writing this. As a full time missionary in the Cloud Forest Region of Ecuador, I have only had the pleasure of working with one “house church” group. The hundreds of others that have come to help with the harvest have been from larger and more organized groups.

    I have found that the reasons for that have predominately been philosophical rather than economical. I think it is changing now though.

    Grace and Peace

  2. 1-26-2011

    Miguel,

    Unfortunately, I think you’re right that more simple/house/organic churches do not get involved in global missions because of philosophical reasons.

    -Alan

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  1. Comment Highlights for week of January 23, 2011 | The Assembling of the Church - [...] from “Making Disciples” brings up a good point in his comment on my post “Simple Church and Global Missions.” …