Going Global by Going Local…
It’s amazing to see how God has been using one local church in Scottsdale, Arizona, for more than 60 years to yield spiritual fruit around the world! SBC has a tremendous legacy of both serving in our city and among the nations. From Mexico and South America to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and even Asia…SBC has sent teams, global missionaries, and supported local churches. And several of our long-standing global partners are now sending out missionaries of their OWN!
As SBC has invested in training pastors, mobilized medical teams to serve with local churches, and sent student teams to lead sports and English language camps, we’re seeing God bring about spiritual fruit. It is also what we are seeing in our Tanzania Project, as students who began in our school in kindergarten are now entering college!
We have seen it in Argentina where we started serving with local churches and now support several MISSIONARIES from the Argentinian Church. We’ve seen it in Eastern Europe, as long-time ministry partners in Slovakia and Czech Republic are now raising up and sending out ministry leaders. We are seeing it through our church partnerships in the Middle East! Men and women from Muslim backgrounds are coming to faith in Jesus and are being sent out to serve as missionaries and plant churches among Muslim people groups in other countries. Spiritual fruit!
This is the way of Jesus. He reaches people through the preaching of the gospel, draws them into local fellowships (churches), and then gives them a vision to reach others who do not have the gospel. They get stirred up to go reach those who haven’t yet heard. And they get ‘sent’ by God and by their local churches. (Matthew 28:19-20; John 20:21; Acts 13:1-3)
So, what do these sent-out ones do when they arrive in these new, unreached locations? They preach the gospel and start to form LOCAL CHURCHES! These new local fellowships eventually grow in numbers and in spiritual maturity…and will one day SEND their own missionaries out! This has been the way of Jesus from the very beginning of the Church Age. The Way of Jesus shows us that the epicenter of global missions is the Local Church.
They get stirred up to go reach those who haven’t yet heard.
Global statistics can be overwhelming and even paralyzing when we look at them. Nearly three billion people are unreached by the gospel today. These people groups are mostly living in the Muslim world, the Hindu world, and the Buddhist world. The two single largest groups of unreached peoples by religion are Muslim and Hindu. How can we reach them? How is God going to reach them? I’ll tell you how He is going to reach them…
Through His local Church. We stand on one promise that assures me of this fact. Matthew 16:18 quotes Jesus as saying, “On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” I want us to see two important things about this passage:
- Jesus is the One building HIS Church. It is His Church, not ours. He is the owner and the builder of the Church. We are the stewards of it. He will build His Church. That’s a promise from Him. We can take that to the bank.
- The gates of hell will NOT prevail against the Church. I know it does not always feel like this, but the Church is going to WIN! That is also a promise from Jesus, and we can take that to the bank also!
Be encouraged, SBC! God is building His global Church, and He is doing it by sending out His people who are all part of a local Church. Scottsdale Bible Church is part of and is actively participating in this promise! The epicenter of global missions is the local Church!