In 1991, at the immature age of 19, I joined Operation Mobilization to serve the Lord in Flemish-speaking Belgium. Since Operation Mobilization is an international missions organization with a global perspective, I soon worked and lived with people from all over the world. As a young adult, it was normal for me to do daily life with people from different nations. I lived and/or worked with people from Australia, New Zealand, America, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, South Africa, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Canada, and Germany. This while reaching out to people in Belgium.
In 1998, I stopped working with O.M. and started working with another mission organization so that more of my time could be spent on evangelism and discipleship in Belgium. This meant spending less time with internationals.
Last week I was reminded of the global perspective when I attended the Biblical Counseling Coalition’s Global Summit. There were participants from Mexico, Asia, Germany, France, America, Canada, Australia, Belgium, Romania, Ukraine, Spain, and Brazil. These people were a small representation of the church worldwide.
This global perspective is something that we read about throughout Scripture. Abraham was to be a blessing to the nations, as was the Nation of Israel, who descended from him. In Matthew 28, the disciples are commissioned to go and make disciples of all nations. In Revelation 7, we read that there will be a great multitude from every nation standing before the throne and before the Lamb.
While I reflected on the tremendous blessing of the global church, I began to think about how this can be of benefit to us. I came up with four answers. First, we can learn from each other and in the process learn from people whose perspectives are not blinded by our cultural ignorance. This will broaden our appreciation of Christ and his work.
Second, we can be a part of obeying the great commission in Matthew 28, by helping people all over the world with resources so that they can learn to obey all that Jesus has commanded. This while praying for others and perhaps visiting them.
Third, it can be an encouragement to reach out to those in our own countries who are from different cultures and languages. There are millions of lost people from many nations in our own countries.
And finally, I think of John 17:21, when Jesus prayed that his followers would be one, as the He and The Father are one. People from different cultures and languages who get along and serve the Lord together are a demonstration of unity that is possible because of Jesus.