New Covenant Church is committed to missions. Our passion is reaching the lost and fulfilling the Great Commission both here and abroad. Contact the church for more information on who we support, what we believe about missions, and how you can get involved.
For some the concept of missions is not the compelling vision it should be, conjuring up images of the church ‘sending out’ interesting kinds of people, that is, the kind who are not very culturally relevant here, to go to a country where no else wants to go. We ‘give them some support’ and therefore feel better about ourselves and the fact that we’ve reduced the Christian life to the almost total pursuit of our own happiness and ‘fulfillment’. For others, this word and concept is much more gripping, bringing a sense of excitement to our shallow and many times materialistic or boring existence.
However….the word “missions” is much more than either of these. It is not some sort of pathetic ‘guilt offering’, as we pretty much do our thing over here. It is also much deeper than a way to satisfy our desire for adventure, with our periodic treks to third world environments.
Missions is the reason that the Church still exists on the earth! Jesus clearly would prefer that we all join Him right now around the banquet table in that great “marriage feast of the Lamb” that is spoken of in Rev. 19:7-9. We’re still here for one reason – God is not willing that any perish (II Pet. 3:9). The apostle Peter wrote these words in the context of the Second Coming, in answer to those who would scoff at the concept of the literal return of Jesus Christ. Peter assures us He will come, but also tells us what causes the delay – this great unfinished task.
Everything else we as Christians do we can and will do at a higher level of quality than we do here on earth – fellowship, worship, and even grow in our knowledge of God. Reaching the unreached is the only thing that will no longer be our opportunity. It is the Great Task of the Church.
David Shibley, President of Global Advance, once told us, “Every church must ask this question when determining their missions philosophy and involvement, ‘What unique contribution has God equipped us to make in the Great Commission?’” We heartily agree!
So, here is our vision and core value statement in “Missions”.
To spread culturally relevant, Spirit-filled, Biblically sound Christianity into areas of need around the globe using the following Missions Principles and Standards:
While we embrace the entire Church, we seek as much as possible to work with people who believe, as we do, that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is for today. Indeed, Acts 1:8 tells us that this infilling is for the purpose of being a witness, to the ends of the earth. We have seen much fruitless labor in unreached nations because ministries are not empowered with the necessary New Testament power and anointing to cut through the darkness that result from completely non Christian world views and practices.
Missions is a demanding task, requiring maturity, proven ministry gifting, and accountable relationships and spiritual covering. Strong and gifted leaders are needed, who are culturally relevant, anointed, and Biblically sound. Younger workers lacking seasoning need to either remain under our direct covering or under someone with this proven leadership capability.
Empower the nationals wherever possible.
God has ordained that the Church in heaven is “Out of every tribe and tongue and people” (Rev. 5:9). The goal is always that we eventually ‘step away’ and allow the nationals to lead and shape the Church in their nation. They will always be more effective.
Priority given to unreached people
Even in missions, so much time, money, effort is given to areas that have literally been saturated with the gospel. These areas still deserve the help of the Western Church, but in much more of a training or support role.
The urgency of the Great Commission still mandates that those ‘who have not heard’ receive the greatest priority. While the difficulty of reaching ‘unreached nations’ presents special challenges, we must devote the greater part of our intercession, (creative) labor, and where effective, financial resources.
Work in the context of the local church
The local church is the only viable structure capable of providing ongoing discipleship. All ministry activity should either work from a healthy church base, or toward the planting and establishing of healthy local churches.
Avoiding duplication of effort with other valid ministries as much as possible.
We want to be good stewards of our time, people, and financial resources. Too many times not enough research is done to investigate other worthy and effective ministry in the same sphere of ministry. Would it be better to partner with them instead, or move into a more needy area?
Greater investing in the more receptive areas of the world.
Although priority should be given more to unreached areas, there are seasons or conditions where there are great differences in receptivity with in the target population. Natural or man made disasters, political changes (as in the fall of the Iron Curtain), or other circumstances many times dictate a rapid response or a priority of resources.
Looking for quality results (fruit that remains).
Jesus constantly talked about fruit, and ‘return on investment’ (parable of the talents in Matt 25). The Church too often does not evaluate ministry along these lines. If we want to truly reach people, and not just ‘say we are doing missions’, we must regularly look for fruit, as a ‘wise farmer’.
Of course, following this philosophy and these standards requires ongoing research, monitoring, networking, and a good working knowledge of viable ministry practices.
Our missions philosophy is best summed up in Acts 1:8, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Missions starts in our own “Jerusalem”. We can know our motivation towards missions is indeed pure if we are seeking to reconcile men unto God in our daily lives (II Cor. 5:12-20). This can be just as great an adventure as hiking the Himalayans or penetrating a rain forest in Brazil for the gospel, as we battle fear, persecution, discouragement and apathy for the souls of men right here in our communities.
Then, we need to discover what our “Judea” is. This is an ‘unreached people’ in our own nation or culture. We believe God has called us to target the young adult population, both in college and in their early career stage (18-29). Here’s why we consider it a “mission” in our ‘Judea’:
Most churches have youth groups, but very few churches reach out to college students and young adults. One of the reasons is their parents don’t go to church. Therefore, no financial support! For this reason, it has to be seen as a mission outreach. What many Christian adults and churches don’t realize is the following disturbing statistic: 80 percent of high school students who were active in their Christian youth group do not continue to follow Christ when they leave high school! You don’t have to be a math major to see how quickly our entire national culture will drastically change if we don’t reverse these trends, and soon.
“Samaria” refers to a ‘minority’ in or near our culture. For us, that is Mexico. We support a couple from our church that has pioneered a church in Leon, Mexico.
“End of the Earth”
Unfortunately, the vast majority of Christian resources go toward ministry to the already reached. Most Christians are called and thus best equipped to reach their own culture, in their own language. Recognizing this, we have adopted an uncreached people group in China and support a team of nationals that are actively planting churches there. We also support a church planting effort by a chineese national elsewhere in China.