"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8
As I read through the New Testament, I don't think there is any doubt that the church was created to be mission-minded. What is the mission? I believe it goes back to the commands that Jesus gave; He told us to love God and love people. We can love people by praying for them, by reaching out to them, by teaching them, and by ministering to their needs, whether physical or spiritual. Where is the mission field? I also believe that we get a clear picture of just where the mission field is for the church. It starts at home; it continues into our state, into our country, and into our world. Acts 1:8 says that we should be "witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Jesus said this as well in Matthew 28:18-20. He said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of ALL NATIONS, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." The church today needs a healthy balance of love for one another within the walls and love for one another outside the walls. A church that only loves its membership is not a healthy church, according to Scripture. A church that only devotes itself to missions and does not disciple and take care of each other is not a healthy church according to Scripture. Paul, throughout many of his letters to the churches, stresses that Christ followers love one another and serve one another out of humility and compassion. But he also led the way in being mission-minded, planting churches in nearly every province he visited. Jesus taught us to love one another as He loved us...that means those within and those without. I pray for the church today. I pray that she will have a healthy balance of loving those within and loving those without. I pray that she will be a mission-minded church...loving God and loving people...at home and abroad.