What are some common mistakes Christians make when thinking about missions strategy?
- They evaluate “results” while ignoring faithfulness to Scripture. When Christians consider different approaches to missions, they often jump straight to the results: “How many people has this brought to Christ?” But there are two problems with this approach. First, God calls Christians to be faithful to his Word and to trust him to bring about fruit, which only he can do (1 Cor. 3:6). Second, the initial decisions often prove hugely deceptive as indicators of lasting fruit (Matt. 13:1-23). A far wiser course is to primarily weigh a method’s faithfulness to the teaching and example of Scripture.
- They assume the Bible is silent about the “how” of missions. They think the Bible has nothing to say about how we should preach the gospel and plant churches in other parts of the world, and so they ignore Scripture when they promote or evaluate different ministry methods. But the more we study Scripture, the more we see that it provides principles, instructions, and commands about how we are to evangelize the lost and establish churches in unreached areas.
(This material has been adapted from Andy Johnson’s article, “Pragmatism, Pragmatism Everywhere!”)