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The Cost of Missions

By Dr. Paul Kooistra, Nov 15, 2013

Recently someone remarked to me that sending a missionary to another country was just too expensive. It is expensive. But my purpose here is not to defend the cost. What I am concerned about is that there seems to be a growing trend to treat God's kingdom work as if it were a secular investment. There was a time when missionaries went into the world knowing it would cost them everything. They would die, their spouses would die; even their children would die. Yet the entire Church was committed to spread the good news of Jesus Christ despite the cost.

Today I have observed a growing number of churches that have little or no enthusiasm for missions. Missions budgets shrink and no one seems to sound an alarm. Few pastors today preach about missions, and missionaries returning from their field assignments do not receive the encouragement and love they need.

Why should we even care?

Let us again remember the last words of Jesus on this earth, "But 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 end of the earth" (Acts 1:8, NIV).

A disinterest in missions is a sign of a spiritually sick church. Such a church has lost its first love. They have lost sight of Christ. A vibrant, healthy church is always reaching out to bring others into the family and kingdom of God—whether it is in their local neighborhood or on the other side of the world.

When we pray for missions we ought to pray for ourselves—that the Holy Spirit would move us and empower us to do the ministry of missions. This is the Spirit's primary work, and it is our primary work.

If our church does not obey the call of Christ, it has no future. It will dry up and slowly die.

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Pray for our single missionaries serving internationally in the midst of their unique struggles. 

Pray for missionaries to remain faithful in the mundane and not get caught up in striving to perform for the praise of others. 

Pray for missionaries who are doing valuable work yet have trouble raising support because their work or field is deemed less exciting or less important than other mission work by some in the church. 

Pray for missionaries raising support and for potential donors to grasp the eternal importance of supporting missions.

Pray for missionaries who are experiencing homesickness on the field.

Please pray for God’s protection over new missionaries and our MTW family as we engage in God’s kingdom work.

Pray for current missionaries, future missionaries, sending churches, and donors to be willing to ask the question, "How could God use me?"

Pray for missionaries on the field who struggle with loneliness.

Pray that the global church, including the PCA in the U.S., would make evangelism a priority, and share the truth with those around them. 

Pray that God would draw many PCA church members, pastors, students, and those passionate about global missions to the GMC conference in November.

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