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It’s Your Turn

It’s Your Turn

A Metaphor

You can’t stop water with a fork. The water will get through, but it will look different than it did without the fork; the straight pour will be disturbed but the water will get through.

You can’t stop missions with government interference. Missionaries will get through, but missions will look different than it did without government intrusion; the once-straight path will be closed and new paths will have to be taken, but the gospel will get through.

Growing Visa Restrictions

It’s not just the 10/40 window anymore. Most nations in the 10/40 window – the home turfs of Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism – have been hard to enter for centuries.

But something happened at the United Nations back around 2008. Someone gave a speech on new visa schemes that countries could adopt to diminish missionary impact while still welcoming business.

Most countries now give vocational missionaries a single three-year visa that is non-renewable and that does not count toward permanent residence. You have three years; that’s it. For this reason, missionary families working in Europe for more than a decade were suddenly given 30 days to get out of the country. Families are now having a hard time getting into African countries that have always been wide open to cross-cultural workers.

A Changing Pool of Potentials

Add to this the closing of Bible colleges and the disappearance of the missions major, because those majors often were less than 1% of the student body. Bible colleges are becoming liberal arts colleges to stay in business.

And yet, Christian millennial students, though they may not be studying for vocational ministry, often have this radical commitment to change their world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many are in Christian colleges, but a growing percentage are in secular universities. Almost 60% of Christian young adults have visited a foreign country before the end of high school; over 80% of them by the end of college. They have seen the world in person and on their phones and aren’t as intimidated by it as their parents are.

Meanwhile, in the seats of a thousand congregations are young adults who are slugging it out in the marketplace and are irritated with losing their sense of mission. The 30-somethings and 40-somethings have a resistance to the American dream and might embrace a more radical, missional path if given the chance.

God’s Sovereign Coordination

Is it not amazing that at a time when foreign doors are closing to vocational missionaries God is also shrinking the schools that prepared them? Foreign doors are still wide open to job-takers and job-makers who will help their economies, and after five years on a work visa, you can get permanent residence and pursue any style of ministry you wish.

Re-imagine. Then Go.

We need to imagine missions differently. We need to morph as we understand how God is changing the world and our ability to go.

So, BMW is challenging everyone who is trained in the Gospel and the Word of God to consider going.

  • EVERY MAJOR, ONE MISSION – Imagine missions where every Jesus-follower enrolled in college, no matter his major, no matter whether she is studying at Calvary or Clemson, is getting ready to live life on mission … and considers post-grad studies or job-placement in places where the gospel isn’t … to live regular life on mission.
  • EVERY CAREER, ONE COMMISSION – Imagine missions where some Christians actually set up businesses in gospel deprived locations to add jobs and value to the community in the hopes of opening gospel conversations.
  • EVERY BUSINESS, ONE BOSS – Imagine missions where every Jesus-follower working every day in the city, in the suburbs, on the farms, and in the mines, sees himself as a marketplace minister … and considers moving the family to take a job in a gospel-deprived place overseas.

So, we’re not asking you to leave your career and go into missions. We’re asking you to take your career or take your studies with you on a mission. You can serve God with your whole life. Missions isn’t just for vocational missionaries.

How might you use your intended career to bring the gospel into dark places?

Marketplace ministry is the future.

Don’t just sit there. It’s your turn.

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