Late last month I spent a couple of days with real-life missionaries. I traveled to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, to participate in a two-day meeting with a team of Lutheran Church Missouri Synod missionaries. It was an inspiring opportunity to learn about their plans for sharing the Gospel, planting churches, and providing disaster response ministry. The team of missionaries is incredibly enthusiastic and dedicated, and their stories are compelling.
Actually, I spend time with real-life missionaries every single day. Aren’t we all missionaries, in a very real sense? We may not all have the calling to pack up and spread the Good News in a distant land. But we’ve all been commissioned by our Lord Jesus. What is the clear, unmistakable mission of the Christian Church? “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).
That’s exactly what missionaries in Puerto Rico do. That’s what we do here at Hope. We’re missionaries, too, right here in Wake Forest and the surrounding communities. Many of our friends and neighbors know Jesus, and the story of his death and resurrection for us. But many of them do not; and, whether they’re young or old, native North Carolinians or transplants, they need a missionary to reach out to them.
Do you see the urgency of what we’re doing at Hope? Just like my missionary friends in Puerto Rico, we’re proclaiming and living the Word and love of Christ.
In the months ahead, we’re going to explore specific ways for our church to support and partner with the missionary team in Puerto Rico. Several Hope members got the ball rolling by participating in a mission trip to the island back in November. It’s exciting to begin to visualize how God may utilize our church in helping bring Christ to the people of Puerto Rico.
In the meantime, I urge each of you to respond to the crucial need for missionary work here in our own congregation. Get involved! Join a ministry team! Dive into the Scriptures and let the Spirit guide you! Be generous with your time, talents, and treasures! If you’ve been away for a while, re-dedicate yourself to the mission work of Hope! Take Christ’s words to you in Matthew 28:19-20 to heart! Pray about some of your friends and neighbors! Invite them to a Holy Week or Easter service! Ask God to help you find a way to be a missionary!
In Christ’s service,
Pastor Wayne Puls