Today at Hillside, Carlos Calderon spoke to us about the Second Macedonian Call, which was a reference to a missions conference in Texas that lead American churchgoers to the international missions field, including Central America, East Asia, and North Africa. From that sending, the paradigm of missions work changed, as in the 1940s the emphasis shifted from missionaries coming into a context from outside to raising up indigenous missionaries from within that context.
During the talk, a couple of points were made about the international missions field:
- The 10/40 Window is one of the most crucial regions for the Church. The Church there is rapidly expanding, outpacing population growth, even in some of the most "closed" countries on Earth.
- It is absolutely necessary that indigenous missionaries reach their own context. It's not that outside missionaries are no longer effective, but rather that missionaries who are native to a context are much more effective.
- Part of what it means to do missions in a context is to plant churches within that context. The example of Indonesia was given, where over 150 new churches were planted last year alone and over 6,000 people entered into the New Creation. The vast majority of these people weren't "undecided" previously, but rather converted from the Muslim faith.
And here is what I think about the whole ordeal:
The American Church can learn a ton from what's going on in the Global Church.
- The Bay Area falls into the 10/40 Window, if extended to the rest of the Western Hemisphere.
- I wonder how many people came to love Jesus in the Bay Area in 2013. I'm willing to bet that it was proportionately lower than the 6,000+ in "closed" Indonesia.
- The answer to the Bay Area Church is the Bay Area Church. I'm willing to bet that indigenous church planting doesn't just work in developing countries. People who live here and love here who also commit to the area in making disciples and planting churches.
- The American Church "waking up" doesn't only look like sending more missionaries overseas, but also sending more missionaries across the street.
There have been multiple missionaries and mission workers at Hillside who keep talking about the great work that is happening overseas. It leads me to be overwhelmed with joy for what Jesus is doing in those places, but also with great anxiety that He would do the same in our backyard.
The last thing I want to have to do is to apologize to my Chinese, Indonesian, Malay, Berber, or Pakistani brothers and sisters in Heaven because my generation dropped the ball in North America here on Earth.