Years ago, a friend of mine asked me the question, “If you saw ten men carrying a heavy log down the road and there were nine at one end and only one at the other, which end would you go to in order to help?” I’ve never forgotten the challenge that was to my heart at the time and it has continued to shape my thinking ever since.
think it is a very good question for us to ponder, especially given the on-going healthy tension there is with the allocation of our time and our church resources. Where should the emphasis be? Should we concentrate on local evangelism and mission, where there are significant suitable resources deployed already, where there is already a concentration of churches and Christian endeavour? Or should we be supportive of evangelism and mission in some other context and culture, quite different to our own? Let’s face it, we feel much more comfortable with what we know and are used to. In a sense, that is very natural for us.
But these questions need addressing before God with sensitivity and expectancy. What is God saying to us? What is He saying to me; what is He saying to you? At which end of the log does He want us to put our effort and help?
Clearly, from God's perspective, cross-cultural mission is not dead!
I marvel at what He is doing. I see people from other cultures coming to New Zealand to evangelise Kiwis. How we in New Zealand need the gospel made known! They obviously perceive the heavy end of the log to be here! But then, our people are as lost to God as any. How we in New Zealand need the transforming power of the gospel to sweep through our culture.
And then I see folk from within our network of churches leaving New Zealand to take the gospel, many through highly innovative means, to people in other corners of the world. That’s really exciting, and that‘s what we love to be a part of at GC3. The imperative is to “go to all nations …” (Matt 28:19) and we stand in awe of what God is doing and how He is achieving those ends, both here and there. There are so many church and ministry opportunities scattered around the globe crying out or assistance, we in New Zealand could easily provide.
If you sense God is asking you to step out of your comfort-zone to apply your knowledge of Him and your practical expertise in a cross-cultural setting, then we'd love to hear from you. There's nowhere better for any of us to be than just where God wants us to be. He has a sweet spot' for each of us for service and maybe we can help you hone what that might look like.
Check out our webpage at www.gc3. org.nz, follow us on Facebook or flick me a message at operationsdirector@gc3. org.nz if this is you. We’d love to journey with you.
Here at GC3 we champion the opportunities there are to serve in ministries in a cross-cultural context. That is our purpose. That is what we are here for, to support churches sending people into these situations and to support folk working in whatever that context might be. We welcome the opportunity to assist the 'heavy lifters' in cross-cultural mission.
Sefton Marshall | GC3 Operations Director