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Missions on Purpose

Before Gold Country Baptist Church had a building, or even property, it had a passion for the Great Commission and missionaries. The group of men that came together to form the first elder board, despite the small size of the church and its very limited income (to the point that Dale didn’t even have a salary yet), committed to place missions as a high priority. Pastor Dale, stirred by Romans 1, felt that missionary giving should be directed to Jews first, so the very first missionary giving was to a group evangelizing to Jewish people. The next missions giving was directed to missionaries who had a personal connection to the small congregation or were already being supported by someone in the church.

Dale’s commitment to missions was well known to every member of the church through how he spoke, taught, and lived. Four of the early leading members of the Missions Committee were the Werum, Cunningham, Hunt, and Foltz families, and they hosted the Missions Committee meetings for many years. Early on, there were so many people (an average of 40) wanting to be at the Missions Committee meetings each month that they had to do 3 simultaneous meetings each month in three different houses.

Over the years, the trend of personal connections has remained a major part of where the church has focused giving, and Gold Country now supports, to varying degrees, at least 11 missionaries. Giving to support the spread of the Gospel is an important part of life in the body of Christ, and personal engagement in that spread is even more clearly an obedience issue for Christians. 

Just before His ascension, Christ gave his disciples the clear command: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

He also told them that they would receive power from the Holy Spirit and would be His “witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts1:8)

These were commands given to the early disciples of Jesus, but not only to them. The call to spread the good news of Christ shows up in the Gospels (the woman in John 4:1-45 is a great example to us, and Matthew 9:36-38 is a poignant reminder of both Jesus’ compassion and the severe need that exists). The call the Redeemed to spread the Gospel is echoed in the examples, exhortation, and encouragement of Acts and the epistles (for starters, see 1 Peter 3:15, 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 and 9:19-23, 2 Corinthians 5:20, Romans 1:16-17 and 10:14-15, and  2 Timothy 4:1-5). 

What are missions in the context of Christianity? When we think of missions most of our first thoughts are probably about global missions. And for some of us our next thought might be our neighbors or our family, someone a little closer to you, someone you know. Each of these answers would be correct. We were recently encouraged by a brother at church to think about what engagement with missions could look like at our church now and in the future. We wanted to encourage each of you to pray for missionaries, to pray for people the Lord has already brought into your life to share the Gospel with, and to pray about how He might send you or your children to the ends of the earth to participate in the Great Commission.

Everyone can do something. It is not a task solely for evangelists or global missionaries, it’s not for “professionals” or simply those with those spiritual gifts or callings. We are the body of Christ; He wants all the Redeemed to be His hands and feet. We must fill our hearts so much with God's goodness and His sovereignty that, as we go out into the world each day, we remember that He is with us. 

Missions can take place in so many places. It could be when we are at the park and there is another family there with kids. Or when we are grocery shopping. Or with our neighbors, or or our kids' or grandkids' sporting events. We can certainly share the Gospel with our unbelieving family. So who has God placed in your life? Do you know your neighbors? Are you looking for opportunities when you are at the grocery store? God is so big that He has ordained each of these people in our lives and in our days, even if it's just for a moment. That doesn't mean that every conversation we ever have gets to sharing the Gospel or talking about Jesus, but that we are the light of the world when we are out, that we are thinking of others, and looking for opportunities. As I (Annie) I write this, I am 6 months pregnant, don't move very fast, and have a toddler and older children, so you likely won't see me getting into long conversations at the store in this season in my life. But I have other opportunities, such as doctor's appointments or with unbelieving family, etc. We are all in different seasons, but in each of our situations God has placed other people. And each of them are there for a reason, even if we don't like it. We can trust God that He is working in each of these seasons or moments. He has the answers, He is the one who saves, it is not us, but He wants to use us. 

With that I do want to mention the special calling to parents. As mothers and fathers we have a high calling to evangelize to our children and to train them up. 1 Timothy tells women to love their husbands and children and to be workers at home. And fathers have a high calling to lead their families spiritually. Deuteronomy 6:6-8, tells parents to teach their children diligently. If children in our homes are not saved, then our first goal is the Gospel to save. Once they are saved we share the Gospel to sanctify. As mothers and fathers we can be the ones to help light a fire in our children to go out into our communities or even become missionaries globally. Who knows, maybe your child will be the next missionary overseas, going to the ends of the earth to share the good news.

In thinking about how to do this myself I was considering how we might teach our kids to think outside of themselves or our homes. What came to mind is that our lives are not our own. Jesus tells us that we must lose our lives to gain our lives in John 11.25. And Luke 9:23-25 Jesus tells us, 

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?

Jesus is constantly reminding us that our lives are not our own; we were bought at a high price, with His life. In our consumer and self-focused culture, we have to be vigilant and intentional to help our children live with their hands and hearts open, teaching them daily to lay down their lives for Jesus. It starts with each of us–throughout the body of Christ but especially those living and working with children–to live a life for Jesus and others. 

So be blessed as his word says, 

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" (Romans 10:14-15)


We are blessed by sharing the good news. It can be such a source of joy for the Redeemed. A fantastic lesson on the way a desire for joy should motivate evangelism and missions is John Piper’s article here:

Finally, here are some ideas on how we can continue to support missions and help those in our lives grow in this mindset:

- Pray as a family or as individuals and ask God to show you who He has placed in your life in this time and to give you a love for them

- Pray before you go into public, asking God to make you aware of opportunities that you have to share about Him, and to show love and kindness to others

- Pray for the missionaries that our church supports

- Financially support our missionaries and learn more about them (our church has a little table where you can see and learn about them)

- Show hospitality by having a missionary over for lunch or dinner while they are visiting our church

- Find out how you can get updates from our missionaries (info on back of cards at missions info table at church)

- Hole-punch the information cards about our missionaries, put a ring through them, and use this tool to help you pray for them.

- Go to missions meetings to get updates and pray for our missionaries

- Go to opportunities to evangelize with the church

- Check in with your neighbors and build relationships with them, get to know them, bring cookies to them or invite them over for dinner, invite them to church

- Talk to your kids about missions; perhaps God will plant something deep in their hearts to be the next missionary we send out

- Teach about missions around the world in your homeschool time or during devotional time as a family

-Listen to Amazon to the Himalayas with Dr. Paul Akin, or Martyrs and Missionaries, both wide-ranging podcasts about missions.

For those of you with children, here are some fun family activities: 

- Place a world map on a wall in your home and have the kids mark where each of our missionaries live and have a jar with popsicle sticks that have the missionaries names so the kids can identify where they are and have pictures of them. You can also use a small map.

- One of my favorite resources for families is a beautiful magazine called On Mission (On Mission (K4-6th Grade) – The Gentle + Classical Press | Life, Abundantly ( Each issue is about a different country, and is filled with geographical and cultural information as well as beautiful maps and pictures that are very kid-friendly. Big and little kids alike will enjoy this resource. They also share on missions in the past and present. 

Shine bright!

Nate and Annie