My name is Kason Bloom. My family and I are missionaries to the country of Ecuador. We are currently in the language learning process in Peru, and after finishing this step, we will be heading to Ecuador to start a church. I can honestly say that I love what I am doing and am so thankful for God, giving me this opportunity to serve Him on the mission field. I want to share with you a few reasons why I think you should consider being a missionary.
One – God commanded us to preach the Gospel to every creature.
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15. the Bible is pretty clear that God wants all people to be saved and doesn’t want anyone to perish. (2 Peter 3:9) God has told us to preach the Gospel to the world. Although there is a need for the Gospel in America, there is a much greater need in other countries. I want to ask you the question that Oswald J Smith asked many years ago. Why should anyone hear the Gospel twice before everyone has heard it once?
Two – There is a world that is dying without Christ.
The CIA Factbook says that 31.4 % of the world claims to be Christian. This stat is including every Christian denomination possible. As someone who grew up in America and is going to work in a so-called Christian country, it is not very hard to see that most people in so-called Christian nations are not saved or anywhere near it. I would guess that the correct percentage of truly saved people would be closer to 2 or 3 percent and not 30. Even if a majority of these “Christians” are saved, it would still mean that 68.6 % of the world is lost. There is a world that is dying without the Gospel, and we need to take the Gospel to it. CT Studd said, “Some want to live within the sound Of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop, Within a yard of hell.”
Three – There is nothing greater that you could do with your life.
I believe that serving God is the greatest thing that you can do with your life. We only have a short amount of time on this earth and after that eternity. So we should probably attempt to do the one thing here that we cannot do in heaven. See people saved. The Bible says that our lives are like a shadow that passes away (Psalms 144:4) We only have a little bit of time on this earth and I believe that there is nothing greater that you could do with your life than serving God. We may have to give up some earthly pleasures, but it will be worth it in the long run! Jim Elliot said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
If you are considering becoming a missionary or have already surrendered to be a missionary, I would encourage you to visit The Our Generation Training Center (www.ogtc.info) to take the next step towards being a missionary. The Our Generation Training Center provides a clear path to becoming a missionary. It will give you all the necessary tools you need to get training, raise support, learn the language, start your work on the mission field, and beyond.
When I first started preaching, I had a heart to help and love people. I believe that I went into it with pure, God-given motives. But as oft happens, Satan slips in, takes our eyes off Jesus, and puts them on ourselves, and the ministry becomes a self-serving thing. When this happened, I took on a method that wasn’t healthy or helpful in any way. I was creating molds for people instead of making disciples for Christ.
I’ve always been blessed to have the natural ability to get people to follow me and listen to me. It’s kind of a good thing because I’m always talking and it would be really lonely with no one to listen (ha!) The first one who kind of took to being my friend and started running with me was Josh Clapp. We were young teens, both pretty newly saved, and hungry to do something exciting for God. Preaching kind of looked exciting, and we ran to it. Little did we know that it was a God-given desire that left us both hungry to serve God.
We would spend hours studying the Bible, learning to be Soul Winners, listening to preaching tapes, going to meetings, and overall hoping to be used by God. It was awesome! I have so many fond memories. The only problem was some years passed, and my next generation of followers came about. By this time, my eyes were off of Jesus and onto myself, and it was trouble.
You see, at this point, I started trying to mold people into me instead of trying to disciple people to follow Jesus! I would tell them how to dress, cut their hair, what music to listen to, what to watch, and how to walk the walk and talk the talk like me. I’m not against Biblical separation, but this wasn’t separation to Jesus; it was separation to me, and that was the problem. It ended up with a bunch of young people that didn’t like me, church, or Jesus by the end of it because you can’t change people’s lives like this.
A few years went by, and I found myself in Arkansas as a youth director again. This time though, I had been influenced by the culture of discipleship. I learned to spend time with these young people, not making them like me but teaching them the Bible. I pushed them to read and study the Bible. I answered every question with the Bible. This changed things drastically! We started seeing these young people get genuinely saved. We started seeing them become faithful, growing, and begging to go soul winning and to do ministry.
By the time I ended up pastoring, it was like every boy, teen, young man, and adult man wanted to be a preacher. I’d often hear things like, “I wish I could be a missionary,” all because of the culture of discipleship that God allowed us to have. You see, my earlier mistake was making a mold instead of making disciples. So how do we prevent making this mistake?
1. Be people of the Bible.
Decide that you won’t say anything that isn’t Bible to your followers! If it’s not in the Bible and we can’t clearly show it to folks, we won’t recommend it! We won’t answer questions with, “my preference or opinion is…,” but rather with, “What does the Bible say?” Decide you will push your followers to get into the book, reading it, studying it, memorizing it, and, most importantly, living it.
2. Spend time around ministry and not hobbies.
Before, I wanted every young man I worked with to hunt, fish, or do CrossFit. We’d spend hours around my hobby! The problem was that I was trying to adapt them to my culture and not God’s culture. We can have our hobbies, but honestly, usually, when it comes to the people who follow us in ministry, it is best to keep them separate. Meet around ministry and not hobby. Don’t go to the ball game together; go to Bible study together. Don’t go fishing together; go fishing for men together! Don’t go to the gym together; teach them how to teach and preach together. This does two things. One, it puts you in the place of a Spiritual influence and not just their buddy. If you want to go to the ballgame, take your son and have a good time. If you want to go on vacation, take your wife and have a good time, but save your discipleship time for doing ministry. The second thing that it does is it teaches them to love and hunger after ministry and not your hobby. When we get God and hobby combined, many times, we make idolatries and not disciples (Ouch I know that hurts). Think about it, though! We are telling them about the love and devotion of an Almighty God, but then we divert the time, attention, and money into our hobbies. Basically, we are teaching them love and devotion, but we are giving them an idol to devote it too.
3. Teach the Bible and let God change from the inside out
The philosophy our pastor has taught us is “BE, DO, SERVE, TRAIN.” Basically, we teach people to “Be a Christian,” which means for them to get saved and to see who they are in Christ! After we have been influenced by BE, we then DO the things a Christian does. For instance, BE faithful to church and go soul winning, the things every Christian does. Once they are doing what a Christian should DO, then we have them start to SERVE in the local church. After that, once they’re effectively doing it, then they are ready to TRAIN others. But before this pyramid gets built up, we have to get people in the Bible, and we have to get the Bible in them! If we just teach our followers the Bible, then the Bible will do its work without us forcing it down anyone’s throat.
The bottom line is that God commanded us to make disciples, and we won’t be effective shoving people into a mold.
This is a BIG one! A very dangerous mistake to make as a preacher is not having a text. So often, we have good thoughts but no Bible, and this doesn’t make much for good preaching. When I first started preaching, this was me! I’d find some good illustrations, hear another sermon, and think, “that’ll preach!” But the problem is though it would “preach” (well more like perform), it wasn’t based in the Holy Scriptures.
I remember also having the problem of grabbing a verse as a springboard. I would have a message based on my thoughts and opinions and wind up using the verse more as a “phrase that pays” or as a keyword kind of thing. We can’t do this as preachers! We must expound the text and only say what the Bible says. Let’s remember we are merely men of the book! I’d like to give a couple of thoughts on why this method of sermon preparation is a mistake. Then I’d like to provide some practical ways of how to prevent doing this in our sermons.
Why we must be true Bible preachers:
1. Because the Bible is the way Christians walk.
‘Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. ‘ – Psalms 119:2
If our sermon isn’t based in the Bible, then we are leading God’s people astray. We have to remember that the Bible is the road map that believers are to walk on, and they must have an accurate map. Imagine it this way. You have a map that was drawn by hand. The ink is smudged, the lines are crooked because the shaking of the artist’s hands and the paper is soiled and dirty. Now imagine you have a clearly printed, accurate map that was done after hours of meticulous study and accurate to the roads you are to take. Which map do you believe will be more accurate? The print map because human hands haven’t blurred it. On the same note is a sermon that didn’t come clearly from the scriptures. We will talk about this more in a moment, but our messages must start and stay in the Bible.
2. Because the Bible is our command to follow.
‘Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. ‘ – Psalms 119:4 God has given us the Bible as His love letter, commissions, and command to us as believers. The issue is that if our sermons are our thoughts and not the Bible, we will leave the listener unclear of what is commanded of them by God. We will also leave people unclear on how to do what God commanded of them.
3. Because the Bible brings praise to God.
‘I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. ‘ – Psalms 119:7
We learn and get the ability to praise from the Word of God! When we get in the book, and the book gets in us, we praise our God more! To the same token, when we blur the Word of God, we blur the eyes of His saints to praise Him. God inhabits our praise, so we don’t want flawed habitation. Now, how do we prevent making this mistake?
1. We start with the text. We never preach a sermon starting with a thought. We should always preach a sermon starting with a passage of Bible. So this means we need to pray less for sermons and dig more. We need to pick a passage of scripture and start mining for truth! Maybe it would be a good idea to sit down and start studying through a book of the Bible, stopping every time God gives you truth and writing a sermon on it. What I do is I make a note of every truth and put it in a “Sermon thoughts” folder on my computer. When I was a much younger preacher, I’d write them down on 3×5 cards. Then I’d go back during my sermon prep time, grab a handful of them, and go to studying and putting together messages.
2. We stay true to the text.
We don’t make it say what we want it to say; we make it say what it says. We take things literally unless told otherwise. We don’t force types and symbols on the text that aren’t there. We study it in light of the culture of the time and not in light of our American culture. We must preach it and preach it through. Can I tell you there are more sermons than can be preached without taking one verse out of context?
3. We preach with truth in mind and not a remedy or a person in mind. So many times, we get into the habit of trying to be the pharmacist fixing everyone’s spiritual and emotional needs. But really, the Holy Spirit is the pharmacist, and the only one who can remedy the problems of men with the medicine of the Word of God is Him! We just need to administer the Word and let the Holy Spirit do His work!
The bottom line is we must not just call ourselves Bible preachers. We must BE Bible preachers!
So I surrendered to preach, and I was to preach for my first time on our bus route. We had 40 kids on there, and I had a sermon on Salvation. HOW WAS I TO PRESENT THIS MESSAGE? This was the question in my mind. My first thought was to be original. Well, the only problem was I didn’t know how to be original. I didn’t know how to be me! All I knew was how to be Dr. So & So! I won’t say who, but there was a big name preacher I almost idolized as a young preacher. I was about to become him for 5 minutes while preaching my John 3:16 message. I got up, cleared my throat, gave my best 5-minute impersonation of Dr. So & So, and sat up with my head swole up the size of a beach ball.
The only problem was that I hadn’t connected with those bus kids! This wasn’t the only time this happened. Right before I went off to Bible College, there was a camp meeting preacher who had become quite a big deal amongst the group of churches I ran with at that time. He was funny, had tons of stories, was really loud, and was a great entertainer and preacher. Oh, I had to be him! So I tried his jokes, I preached with his hack! This even went so far that when I was in Bible College, I was known as Little (Insert preacher’s first name here). The only problem was when I preached in my college chapel, I didn’t connect with them.
When I was pastoring, I’d listen to my current pastor, Austin Gardner. I’d hear him preach chapter by chapter through books of the Bible and give his “Tennessee Hillbilly” version of what it said and really simplify deep truths quite well. I’d hear it, and I’d pick my book of the Bible to preach through. I’d get up and try to be Mr. World Evangelism, but I was a sad facsimile thereof, and many times I didn’t connect with those I pastored.
What was the problem? Why couldn’t I connect? Well, the reason was that for some reason, those people came to hear ME preach! They expected to hear Dustin Brown, and what they got was a sad copy of Dr. Big Name, Bro. Camp Meeting, and Mr. World Evangelism. A valuable lesson to learn is when you get into the pulpit, be you!
Be you preaching the Bible. Be you filled with the Spirit. Be you used by God, but by all means, please be YOU! If not, that sermon won’t go over with the listeners. They’ll see right through it! People don’t want sad copies; they want you! They want you full of Bible and full of passion! So BE YOU! Tell stories that happened in your life, use quotes and verses that God has moved in your heart with, preach in the style that God has given you, but by all means, be you! So how do you learn how to be you in the pulpit? Let me give you three tips on how to be you in the pulpit.
1. Watch out listening to one specific podcast preacher. Back in my day, it was listening to preaching tapes. What I always found was that when I only listened to one preacher, I’d become him in the pulpit. When I was pastoring, I had 3 or 4 cassette tape sets of sermons by a certain pastor in TX. I listened to those tapes every time I was in my office. After about a month of this, my wife told me one Sunday afternoon, “You were too much like Bro. (Insert name) and not enough like you, and it’s helping no one.” I looked back over the last few weeks’ sermons, and I wasn’t connecting. It’s good to listen to others’ preaching. Preaching is caught rather than taught, BUT listening to one preacher will turn you into a copy cat. Listen to different preachers, different styles, different approaches because if not, you’ll become a pulpit plagiarizer.
2. Preach passages that God has used to move your heart. Don’t preach a passage until God has changed your heart with that passage of scripture. I think it is important to be a Bible preacher, but I think it is just as important to be a passionate Bible preacher. Bible truth is not meant to be dry; it’s meant to be red hot and living. The point here is when a passage has moved your heart, you are less likely to try to be someone else and more likely to be you moved by that passage.
3. Preach to please God and not man I realized that in every account, I was trying to please the listeners instead of God. Because of that, I grasped for the preacher and style that I saw everyone enjoying. When we preach to please God, we are ourselves because we realize that preaching that pleases God is passionate, Biblical, Spirit-filled preaching. That kind of preaching can’t be done when we are trying to be someone else.
I pray today that whether you are a Sunday School teacher, preacher, pastor, missionary, or Evangelist, that you’ll take heed and be yourself when presenting the truths of the Bible. Because if you don’t, you will muddy the water with personalities.
Examples of People and Movements Towards Reaching the World
As you read this, you may be thinking, “None of this would ever work.” The world could never be reached with the gospel, but the Bible does say that before the end, the gospel would be preached to every nation. There has been many people and organizations that have stepped out in faith and taken God at His word to see the world reached in this generation. We will look at several of these and see how God used them to make an impact on the world!
The First Century Church
Christ had spent three years of His life pouring into His disciples and followers. He then died and rose again, then ascended to heaven. As He ascended, He left His disciples, followers and every Christian a command to obey. That is to take the gospel to the whole world. As you look at the first century church, you could say they did more for world evangelism than any succeeding generation. What is sad about this is how limited their travel and abilities were to get the gospel to places and yet, they went. The task of world evangelism is not complete and will not be complete until we get serious about the need in the world! Let’s look at the early church and how God used it in such a great way to reach the world with the gospel.
First there was a calling out for separation from ordinary lifestyles— They were set apart for a specific purpose and task. They gave up their lives in order to serve Christ. They gave up all for Christ. Today, so many Christians never give up their life. They still say, “I will follow Christ,” but do what they want to do. Truthfully, we should give up our lives and die to ourselves and follow after Christ!
They had a close attachment to Christ— Many of the early Christians spent three years traveling around and ministering with Christ. They were attached to Christ and grew by being close to Him. They detached themselves from everything else and attached themselves to Christ and His teachings. If we truly attached ourselves to Christ instead of the world, we would be drawn closer to Him and to the truth that the world is in need of the gospel. As we draw close to Christ, His love constrains us to go forth and preach the gospel! We must detach from the world and attach our lives to Christ!
They were taught brotherly love by Christ— He had taught them not only to love Him but to love one another. The Christian life is a life of love—Loving Christ and loving the brethren. The love these men had for each other was cultivated by close fellowship with each other. Today, we rarely have time to fellowship with each other and cultivate our love for one another because it’s all about me and what I need and not about what others need. We must put our needs aside and start loving one another, so we can encourage each other to good works and reaching the world with the gospel!
They were taught and shown how to have faith— Christ taught them and showed them that faith was a key in the Christian life. They must live lives of faith in order to see the power of God on their lives. This faith carried the early church to the ends of the earth. This faith kept the church going in spite of persecution. We need to learn today to live lives of faith. To know what faith is and to have faith in God. If we realize that faith is as necessary today as it was in the early church, we could and can once again see God move in the way He did in the early church!
They needed continued and united prayer— After Christ ascended, they spent ten days in purposeful and powerful prayer before Pentecost happened. They prayed and prayed and prayed in unity, and God responded by sending His Spirit upon them and using them to reach thousands with the gospel! We must have an outpouring of prayer today. Praying for the power of God on our lives, for God to raise up laborers and for us to see the world reached with the gospel! It does us no good to do all the rest without prayer. Oh, may we be praying Christians and praying churches!
People say it is not possible to see God work like He did in the early church, but we still serve the same God. The Bible says in Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” God has not changed. We have changed. But if we would get back to giving our lives to God, living a life of faith and seriously praying, we could see the same power they saw at Pentecost! It starts with you, as an individual. We must get our hearts right and seek to see God in our lives before we can see the world reached with the gospel. The missionary problem is a personal problem and starts at the individual level!
Your missions conference is on the church schedule, and now you have the task of helping get your church ready for the most crucial week of the year. We, at the Center for World Evangelism, want to help you with your missions conference preparation.
We have developed six lessons for you to use in your Sunday School Class or Small Groups. Each topic was carefully chosen by a group of missionaries to help prepare the hearts and minds of your con-gregation. Our goal is to help local churches as they seek to reach the world with the gospel message.
Please feel free to download and use this material for all age groups. You will find activity sheets for kids, review papers, and lessons that are easy to teach and understand.
Today it is easy to fall into an ethnocentric mentality. Living in a time when there is great wealth and material gain can distort our concern for the world and missions in general. This mindset is both anti-Biblical and un-Christlike, making this a crucial topic for discussion. In this lesson, you will find four reasons why you, as a church member, should be involved in missions at your local church.
Lesson 2 The Purpose of the Church
The church is on earth for a reason. This lesson aims to help people understand that the Biblical purpose of the church is to evangelize the world. Each member of the body of Christ has a responsibility to share the gospel.
Lesson 3 What is a Missionary?
We desire to reach the world with the gospel in our generation. To accomplish this goal, local churches must produce missionaries. This lesson strives to help your church understand what a missionary is and what he does from a Biblical viewpoint. We pray that God will call people from your church to take the gospel around the world.
Lesson4 What is My Responsibility?
Matthew 28:19-20 is a call to obedience and action. From this lesson, your members will see that everyone in the local church has an obligation to fulfill the Great Commission. As a result, we hope your church will increase their gospel witness here in America, become better senders, and, Lord willing, even become goers themselves.
Lesson5 The Apostle Paul
We naturally try to imitate those we admire or want to become, such as social media influencers, athletes, musicians, and entrepreneurs. God’s Word provides Christians with a better example to follow in the apostle Paul. Your members will see the value in emulating Paul’s way of life, and in imitating him, they will learn to adopt a Biblical, missional mindset.
Lesson 6 What About Those Who Haven’t Heard?
In exploring this topic, your church will understand what happens to those who die without hearing the gospel message. The lesson aims to increase the burden of your members for the lost and dying world that has limited access to the gospel.