We have all taken photographs that are blurry and out of focus. If you are like me, this might happen quite often. I find myself adjusting and refocusing the lens so that the image I am attempting to capture becomes clear. Sometimes I have to take multiple photographs to get a clear representation of the picture or image I am trying to capture.
Missions Conference is a special time for the church; a special time for we believers. Each local church seems to understand its purpose. For many, it is time to refocus. We know it is a time when we believers place a special emphasis on God’s command to go, to send, and to fund. Recent events in my life have caused me to meditate on this thing we Christians call “missions.”
A little over three years ago, I received the privilege of an assignment change. My ministry changed as I began serving at the Biblical School of World Evangelism, our missions college here at First Baptist Church of Milford. This change alone allowed God to give me a refreshing and broadened perspective on this thing we call missions. I came to realize, more than ever, that our God is a God of missions. I realize, now more than ever, that the preeminent theme thread throughout the entire Word of God is this thing we call missions.
In the last two years, I have been privileged to visit three foreign fields. I have witnessed first-hand church planting ministries in Mexico, Honduras, and Indonesia. In addition to the aforementioned assignment change, these trips also impacted my perspective and my focus. Certainly, I was moved by the lost people in these foreign fields. Clearly, I was burdened for their eternal state and respectful of the sacrifice the missionaries make each and every day of their lives; but what struck me more deeply than anything else was the spirituality of those involved in the work. You see, the missionaries had no worldly distractions. They had no material enticements or luxuries to cause them to lose focus. They did not need a conference to reinforce their priorities. They were so engulfed in the work of God that they literally had little time to focus on anything else.
In late November of 2015, I was asked to assist with missions here at our home church. What a joy it has been to actively serve in our missions program each day. I found myself wanting to do a better job of communicating with our member missionaries. I wanted them to feel connected and loved. To accomplish this, we were forced to sharpen our focus; to “zoom in” tighter. We had to work a little harder and make prayer a greater priority.
I find myself envying these people we call missionaries. I find myself wishing I had the resolve to limit my distractions to focus more intently on the lost. I find myself burdened to continually make changes in my life. Each time I have received an assignment change that involves a greater commitment to “missions”, my focus improves; the image becomes clearer. Each time I have returned home from a “missions” trip, my passion for world evangelism has grown because, for a brief time, I was able to “zoom in” and see the “fields white already to harvest” in person.
I suspect there are many believers like me. I suspect for some, “missions” gets out of focus. I certainly needed God to adjust my lens. Perhaps during this conference, someone reading this article is led by God to adjust their lens; to commit to focus or refocus on missions. 1 John 2:2 reads, “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” May this Missions Conference cause each of us to adjust our lens and to refocus on God’s command to go, to preach, to teach, and to give. May we truly “zoom in” on missions and stay focused on this priority each and every day.