“How then shall they call upon the one of whom they have not believed? How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? How can they hear without someone preaching to them? How can they preach unless they are sent?”
One action in isolation is not enough for unreached people groups to hear about the good news of Jesus; a whole string of events needs to occur – listening, sending, going, preaching, hearing and believing. All of these require dedication and ongoing prayer support.
Engage with God’s Word
Consider [bible]Luke 10:2[/bible], [bible]Matthew 9:35 – 10:1[/bible], [bible]Ephesians 6:18-20[/bible] & [bible]Acts 13:2-3[/bible].
- What does the scripture mean in [bible]Luke 10:2[/bible], ‘ask the Lord of the harvest …to send out workers’? What could that look like for you?
- Have you considered what it must be like to live with ‘no shepherd’ ([bible]Matt 9:36[/bible])? How can we as believers have compassion for those who are ‘harassed and helpless’?
- Who are the Lord’s people you are praying for? Who is God prompting you to pray for? Is God asking you as a group to uphold someone or a group of people specifically in prayer?Take a moment now to discuss what that could look like, when, how often and who will remind you of your commitment.
- [bible]Acts 13:2-3[/bible] talks of a community who pray, worship and fast, after which decisions are made and action taken. Have you ever prayed, worshipped and fasted, seeking God’s leading? If so, why? What did you learn? What action were you prompted to take? If not, consider if this scripture may be prompting you to do so now. Discuss together.
The act of praying to God is not a passive act of faith. It is something vibrant, powerful and in itself can be absolutely transformational. We see, for Barnabas and Saul, their whole lives were changed when the community came together by worshipping and fasting. Millions of lives have been impacted by Jesus as a result. Discuss how unity in prayer, worship and fasting could impact your community. What is God asking you to do about it? Pray together.
In our recent generations the Church in the West has at times been accused of being ‘asleep at the wheel’ in terms of our international missional impact, especially in the area of the globe known as the 10:40 window, through Asia; Africa and the middle eastern regions. This area has the lowest percentage of known believers in the world, and yet is the place where the greatest opportunities exist for the work of God to change the lives and communities of those who have never heard of the name of Jesus.
Engage with God’s Word
Consider [bible]1 Samuel 17:1-57[/bible].
- Who or what are the giants that we face as believers in our time? What other world religions could be seen as a Goliath? Why?
- Read verse 45. David came against Goliath in the Name of the Lord. Why is there power in His name? Do we see this in our own lives? How might this apply in mission?
- Read Joel 2:28. In many countries where Christianity is banned, God is speaking through dreams and visions to reveal himself to unreached people groups. God is able to reveal himself without our help, so why are we called to share our faith? What does sharing our faith do for a believer?
- Throughout the New Testament and throughout history the times when the gospel has spread the most prolifically is when the church has been under persecution. Why is this the case? What does this mean for us today? In the future?
- Who are the people whom God has positioned you to connect with and share the good news of Jesus with?
- Have you ever considered serving God in an international ministry?
Not every person is called to travel abroad and share the Gospel with unreached people groups of the world, however we are ALL called to share our faith where we are, and offer support for those who do.
We all have a part to play.
What is one thing that you can do this week to share your faith with others?
What is one way that you can support an international gospel worker? When will you start?