What are missions? What is missions? which ever is right, how do you define what it is? Dr. Philip Hunt joins me in this weeks episode of Christian Outdoors Podcast as we struggle with this question.
Many people define missions as helping the poor, economically displaced or those who may not have heard the gospel. Others define it as carrying the gospel to people different or less fortunate than us.
But Philip and I believe it is much more than this. After a discussion that began in a duck blind several months ago. Philip and I continue this conversation to define what missions are in the modern church.
We both live in or near Greenville, SC the largest metropolitan area in the state of South Carolina. Roughly 800,000-1,000,000 people live in our immediate area. We have a wide array of ethnicity, economic diversity and educational makeup. Which leads to the question, why do churches target only the economically depressed? Why don’t we target other groups who need Jesus also?
Demographics show us that while 62% of people in Greenville county consider themselves Christian, only about 40% of the people attend any type of Christian worship regularly. (Meaning at least twice a month) So the question remains, what are the churches doing to reach these people?
During our discussion I ask the question; “don’t rich people need Jesus too?” and we discussed the efforts, or lack of efforts being done for the people who are in the upper tier of the economic platform. Are any churches reaching out to them? And if not, why aren’t they?
In our area, we are living in what is considered the middle class to upper middle class areas of our county. There are named subdivisions everywhere. Many of these subdivisions homes are in excess of $300,000 which for our area are considered high. And yet the efforts of churches is to go to the government housing, or the projects and do missions there.
Granted, the people living in government housing need Jesus and the love of the church. No one is arguing that point. But why are we ignoring the upper-middle class and upper class in the process?
Jesus tells us to “go into all the world and proclaim the gospel.” The word ALL here is important. It means everyone. Including the wealthy and the educated. Perhaps churches should refocus and look around themselves and see who in their neighborhood is not attending and take the missions to them. Perhaps we should refocus our efforts to closer to home and to those whom we work with, play golf with, hunt with and exercise with. Perhaps missions is indeed “all”.
Go therefore into ALL the world and proclaim the good news. And in that process, don’t drive by the gated community or the ritzy neighborhood, but go there also.