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Steve closed the book. Silence had settled over the people in front of him.
Tentatively, a woman a couple of rows back raised her hand. She shifted in her seat. “I fit into that statistic,” she said, her voice low. “The statistic of people who spend more money on their pets’ Halloween costumes than what they send to missions efforts.” She looked down at her hands in her lap.
Across the aisle, a college student nodded. “I just didn’t know,” he said. “I didn’t realize the need.”
These are the reactions that excite Pastor Steve VanMeter about the book Discovering Global Missions. “No matter who you are, I recommend this book. If you’re a church leader or a missions leader,” he continues, “you should order 50 and try to get that many people to join you—it’s that important.”
We enjoyed talking with Steve about his experience with Discovering Global Missions, and from that conversation, we learned five ways this book can revitalize your church’s heart for reaching the least reached.
We Remember It’s Not Just This Thing Called “Missions”
“Missions” isn’t just a vague term that applies to going overseas, living in a foreign country, learning a foreign language, and preaching the gospel. It’s so much more than that.
Discovering Global Missions emphasizes that missions is about people. Just as the church isn’t a building but the believers who worship God in it, missions isn’t the travel and the culture shock but the people God is using us to reach—real people who are hurting and lost and who need to hear about the hope that only Christ can bring.
We Learn That Local Missions Is Important Too
Even though the title is Discovering Global Missions, Steve reminds us that local missions—the people who need Jesus in our neighborhoods, towns, and counties—is just as vital. After all, Jesus told us to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19), and that includes our hometowns.
Discovering Global Missions highlights the importance of missions everywhere—whether you are at home or across the world.
We Feel Convicted But Not Shamed
While the book is convicting, it doesn’t seek to guilt or shame readers. Instead, it educates us on the importance of missions and reminds us of our responsibility to reach the least reached—and it does so in an encouraging way.
This approach is excellent for opening helpful dialogues about what really matters and challenging readers to examine their lives and priorities.
We Are Encouraged to Invite Critique
Along the same lines, this book challenges churches to reevaluate their approach to missions and their priorities as they relate to reaching the least reached.
“It sets up your church to ask, ‘Okay, what do we need to do?’” Steve says. “Let’s have a critique of our church. What haven’t we been doing that we should be? And what are we doing that we shouldn’t be?”
This is exactly the kind of attitude we need to have if we want things to change for the better. We must be willing to adapt and be open to the fact that we don’t have everything right. Otherwise, we won’t move beyond where we are to get somewhere better.
We Understand That Results Aren’t Immediate or Guaranteed
“You may not see the fruit of it right away,” Steve admits. “I’ve seen people do nothing with this book. But I’ve also had people who took the course a year ago, and then they come back saying it made them think and they want to take action.”
Pray for your church. Ask God to awaken a heart for missions in your members and encourage them to pursue this.
Are you interested in reading this book, or perhaps leading a class on missions at your church?