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From the Coordinator: How Does Racial Justice Relate to Missions?

How do we fulfill the Great Commission? We fulfill the Great Commission by making disciples among the nations. This entails two main tasks: First, leading people to receive the sign of baptism marking their inclusion into the community of faith. And second, teaching them to obey everything that Jesus commands (Matt. 28:18–20).

So not only are we to share the gospel with others, we are to teach others how the gospel affects every aspect of our lives: our singleness, our marriage, our children, our work, our role in society, how we treat our neighbors, etc. Teaching disciples to obey everything that Jesus commands impacts everything, including how we think about racial justice.

So how does racial justice relate to missions? The credibility of our global witness as heralds of the gospel is diminished by our lack of love for our neighbors here in the U.S. who do not look like us. Conversely, our engagement here in racial justice and reconciliation in Jesus’ name, as well as sending and supporting diverse teams of missionaries, is a powerful apologetic to the power of the gospel to break down walls of hostility (Eph. 2:11–22).

In every country where we serve, there are racial or ethnic tensions—many of them stemming from historic abuses, wars, and discrimination. Our challenges in the United States are not unique. The hope that we offer the nations in the gospel is not only the hope of eternal life in the future, but a present relationship with God that has power to reconcile enemies and bring peace. Those we are seeking to reach can see it lived out in the diverse mission teams we send. Therefore, part of teaching others to obey everything that Jesus commands is teaching by our words, actions, and attitudes the power of the gospel in bringing racial/ethnic reconciliation.

Isn’t this our story? God has reconciled us, His enemies, to Himself through the sacrificial love of His Son Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:8–11). We are living proof of the reconciling power of the gospel.

As we think about the challenges we face related to racial justice, what hope do we have for real change? I am convinced that in this life our only real hope for change comes through the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the reason why we are so passionate about sharing the gospel with the nations!

Lloyd Kim, Reflection Nov 17, 2020
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