Alan Hall, associational missionary
Mulberry Baptist Association
The call to missions is a call to take the gospel of Jesus Christ everywhere we can and to everyone we can. God ‘s heart and mission is that people know Him because Jesus changes lives. It’s our joy, privilege, responsibility, and mission to deliver that message.
It includes both ministry and evangelism combined in the command to GO! Matthew 28:19-20 says, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Where are we going? Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth; that’s a big calling! How do we do that? It takes teamwork, everyone doing his or her part to accomplish something that big.
I’m glad to be an associational missionary serving a wonderful group of cooperating churches in an area covering several counties in our state. We work together to do ministry and evangelism – to reach people for Jesus – to strengthen existing churches to be more effective and guide new churches that are planted. We also GO through Cooperative Program giving. Everyone has a place in God’s mission!
The Bible says that severe persecutions had broken out against the church in Jerusalem (Acts 8:1). Believers were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria, where Philip went to a city to preach. Great things were happening. Men and women were being baptized. Philip then gets a specific mission call.
Be Willing – Acts 8: 26-27a
Philip ministered to cities in Samaria and has now returned to Jerusalem when an angel of the Lord tells him to go to a specific location – a desert road in Gaza. This was not the area Philip had been ministering in and maybe not a place he would have chosen to go, but he got up and went.
Get ready, God will often direct us to a place we never considered. It may be a call to a different country and culture or it may be a call to plant a church, but be willing to go where God sends you.
I worked with a guy years ago in a retail store who was a Christian but always visibly uncomfortable and discontent. I asked him one day what was wrong. I’ll never forget that he looked right at me and said, “Brother I’m running from God.”
He was miserable and now I knew why. He knew God wanted him to serve as a missionary in a particular place, but he didn’t want to go. Running from God’s will is a tough spot to be in. Consider Jonah. God blesses when we are willing to go when he calls. The best place you can be is where God wants you to be. You’ll know by the peace you experience.
Be Open ‐ Acts 8:27b
God was at work in Philip’s life. God had prepared him and directed him to a specific place with a specific task for him to do. God had placed a man, an Ethiopian eunuch, in Philip’s path. Along with the willingness to go where sent there must also be the openness to cross cultural boundaries.
We must trust that if God is calling us to a particular place He will prepare us for the particular task. God was preparing ahead-of-time this Ethiopian man’s heart to receive what Philip had come to say. If God says “go” He will prepare the way for the hearts of people to receive our witness, wherever that may be. Philip was open to letting God use him to transcend cultural boundaries.
Be Ready ‐ Acts 8: 28‐35
Philip was willing and ready. He didn’t approach the chariot with fear and trepidation; he ran to it. You run to things when you are ready for them and you dawdle when you are doubtful.
He told the man the good news about Jesus, beginning from “that” Scripture. In other words he was ready to tell him about more Scripture. Be ready to share Jesus. If you are ready you will run to those opportunities. If unprepared you may run from them. Be ready, if you are you don’t have to get ready!
Are you ready to GO?
If not seize the day and get ready:
- Seize the Day: Share the Gospel. Get ready through prayer, through Bible study, and by developing your own personal testimony.
- Seize the Day: Have you found your place to GO to? It doesn’t have to be far away. How are you involved in missions? Are you willing if it is far away?
- Seize the Day: Develop your mission heart by praying for and/or adopting a missionary family in your small group. Contact them. Develop a relationship. Do a FaceTime chat. Invite them to your church/small group.