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Guest Author

Reaching the Nations

By John Ford

When hearing the words, “Go and make disciples of all nations”, they can be overwhelming. The
question that springs to mind is this; what does it mean for a community in Kingston to be involved
in the gospel going to the nations of the world? What is our part to play? Personally, what is my part
to play?

As a community, our role is to be a praying people, a sending people and a supporting people of
those that we have sent.

The role of a church in cross-cultural church planting and seeing the gospel going to the ends of the
earth can be likened to a theatre. God is the director, unseen, but the creative voice who shapes the
play, selects the actors and whose fingerprints are observable on every aspect of the play. The
actors on the stage are like those that go. They are the ones that are seen: who live amongst the
nations. However, behind the scenes, you have unseen roles. Unless the ‘hidden roles’ of creating the
actors’ clothes, selling tickets, advertising, arranging venues, provide refreshments take place, the
play will not go on. These hidden roles are essential.
By praying, pastorally supporting those that are going and financially giving, every person plays their
part in the play which will climax in the gospel reaching all peoples of the earth.

Praying

All of us can partner with world mission through praying whether we stay or go.
“A people group is the largest group within which the Gospel can spread as a church planting
movement without encountering barriers of understanding or acceptance&quot; (1982 Lausanne
Committee Chicago meeting). In the world there are 17,013 people groups. Of these 7,076 are
unreached people groups (1). That does not mean no-one in an unreached people group is a Christian.
Rather an unreached people group refers to an ethnic group without an indigenous, self-propagating
Christian church movement. In other words, in these people groups, which over 3 billion of the
world’s population live, it is unlikely for someone to meet a local believer who will be able to share
the good news of Jesus with them.

There are great resources to pray for the world and the people groups of the world.
– Operation World – http://www.operationworld.org/join-prayer-movement
– The Joshua Project: Gives information so you can pray for the unreached people groups of
the world – https://joshuaproject.net/

Sending / Going

Amazingly, in the Middle East many people are becoming Christians through visions of Jesus. God is
so passionate about saving and drawing people to himself, that dreams and visions are common
place. However, the God-ordained and primary way for the gospel to reach the ends of the earth is
through people going to the ends of the earth: to live amongst people, learn their language, learn
their questions, love, and show how the gospel answers the questions that they are seeking answers
for.

Just as others have gone from King’s to church plant overseas, in the coming years you will be
sending again. Some of you will be going, because you will hear the call of God to “Go”. Just as you
sent a church planting team to Istanbul 5 years ago, surely God will once again want you to send
individuals or even a team to go and plant a church in a different country, where few know about
Jesus.

For those of you who are feeling a stirring to “Go”, how do you keep that calling alive and develop
it? Let me give three recommendations so that a sense of calling moves towards going.

1) Share this sense of calling with leaders of the church.

2) Always ask, what is the next step to keep this sense of calling alive? (i.e. Is there a cross-cultural
church conference to go to? A book to read? A person you should chat to? A place
you should visit?). This was the single most important factor for my sense of calling to move
from calling to reality.

3) Read or listen to biographies about those who have gone before.
(John Piper in his yearly pastors’ conference often tells the story of one of these heroes.
These are either 60-80 mins talks or 30 pages booklets).

Hudson Taylor – https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/the-ministry-of-hudson-taylor-as-life-
in-christ
Adoniram Judson – https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/how-few-there-are-who-die-so-hard
John G. Paten – https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/you-will-be-eaten-by-cannibals-lessons-from-the-life-of-john-g-paton

The encouragement is that people have gone from us to see the gospel reach the ends of the earth.
People from King’s Church are serving in Istanbul, Freetown Sierra Leone, Frankfurt Germany and
the Czech Republic.
In the coming days, you will hear stories of those who were at King’s Church but are now serving
God in a different culture.

Supporting

A key role for those that stay is by supporting those that have gone. The difference it makes when
you receive a package from England, an unexpected phone call from a friend saying that they are
praying and finding out how you are, or friends coming to visit, cannot be underestimated. On the
dark days of discouragement or loneliness, the support from friends in the church family is a game
changer.

Summary

The calling for us as a church is to play our part in world mission. Everyone has their role to play
(whether going or staying). The gospel will go to the ends of the earth. God’s word will be fulfilled
and people from every tribe and tongue will worship him (Revelation 7:9-10). He calls us to give
ourselves to see his name exalted in the nations.

(1) Figures from https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/statistics