The Door-Step Evangel

A Case for Home Missions
Mike Custer

Over the years, I have often heard it said that some pastors and churches do not consider home missions projects to be truly"missions." I have always been puzzled by such thoughts.

I am certainly in favor of foreign missions. One would be in direct denial of the Great Commission to neglect the critical importance of carrying the gospel to the"uttermost part" of the world. Christ said"the field is the world." In 1992, Bible Baptist Church supported more missionaries than ever before, and over 90 percent of those are foreign missionaries. Our missions budget is still well over $40,000 each year. PRAISE THE LORD!

It occurs to me, however, that U.S. churches turning a deaf ear to the work of home missions is to"shoot in the foot" this country's missionary thrust for the next decade and generation.

Consider these principles:

1. By nature, every great work for Christ must start locally and branch out. Before the Jerusalem church finally reproduced itself as far as Macedonia, there were churches in and around Jerusalem and throughout Judaea, Samaria, and Syria. It was in Syria that the great missionary church at Antioch was every bit as pressing as the need in Thessalonica. Both cities desperately needed a gospel-preaching church.

2. By Biblical injunction, home missions must be given high priority, along with foreign missions. Jesus said in Acts 1:8 that the gospel preaching, church planting process should start at home and spread in ever-widening circles from there. Home missions is important.

Someone might say,"But America is already flooded with Scriptural churches."

Please don't say that about the Upper Midwest. Our area is filled with cities and towns where there has never been a faithful gospel witness, much less a genuine, New Testament church.

Please don't say that about the New England states. Pastors I know in some areas say these areas are mostly void of strong, fundamental churches.

Please don't say that about our major population centers, like New York City. A handful of small to average sized churches may carry the weighty responsibility of reaching multiplied millions of people in these huge metropolitan areas. I can guarantee that many of these churches believe in home missions.

These are just the obvious needs. The same story could be told all over these United States. We are a wicked, spiritually void nation. Our country needs more preachers and churches that will stand true to the Book and the Saviour.

3. By logic, home missions is the only sensible way to begin to effectively and continually reach a lost world. As much as we hate to admit it, often our greatest enemy in missions is a shortage of money. WHAT GOD GIVES US, WE MUST INVEST WISELY.

If our church invests $300, $200, or even $50 per month in a home missionary, that support will generally be needed for only two to three years. (By that time, if he is going to successfully build a work for the Lord, will probably be evident.)

That same missionary money, spent exclusively on foreign missionaries, won't even get them through their first term. Ideally, the home missionary, with that support, will have established a missionary"sending station" that will begin to pour missionary money into the foreign cause, and we have expanded our financial base for reaching those foreign countries for Christ, NOT TO MENTION THE MEN AND WOMEN OF GOD THAT MAY BE RAISED UP AND SENT OUT OF THAT CHURCH.

Example - $100/month for 3 years spent on home missions - $3,600 - could see a church established that could begin contributing $100, $200, or eventually $10,000/month toward foreign missionary endeavor. That missionary's need for missionary support - for life - was only $3,600. On the other hand, the average church might support a foreign missionary for 20 or 30 years. That same $100/month becomes $36,000!

The home mission project is at least as good an investment, monetarily and spiritually, as investing that same money in a foreign missionary's work. The primary reason for this benefit factor lies in America's wealth. I believe we have been made a wealthy people for the purpose of missionary work.

Our country is in a deep spiritual and moral pit. The only answer is through Christ, through His servants in fundamental, New Testament Baptist churches. We must start more churches; we must ask God to give us more faithful preachers and soul-winners.

SO LET'S BOTH: SEND SCORES OF LABORERS ABROAD, TO THE HARVEST FIELD, AND SUPPORT OTHERS HERE. This is scriptural and sensible.

The Door-Step Evangel is published in the interests of Evangelism and information as a Church paper, sincerely devoted to the cause of Jesus Christ. We are in favor of everything that is right and opposed to everything that is wrong.

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