Shortly before he was crucified, Jesus gave these instructions to his apostles, “Go ye into all the world and make disciples of all nations”. Shortly after His resurrection, Jesus in speaking to Peter, added these further instructions, “Feed my lambs and feed my sheep”. These two tasks are still the main responsibilities of the church to-day.
In most countries in the Western World, church attendances are in decline and have been so for some years. Worldwide however, the situation is rather different. The number of Christians continues to grow, with most of the growth taking place in countries where Christians have historically formed only a small minority of the population.
Missionary work tends to be a team effort, so we can be thankful that people are still responding to the call to go forth as missionaries. If they are to be effective however, they require the assistance of a large number of other Christians to support them, both financially and in prayer.
Not everyone is called to be a missionary, but all have opportunity to assist in the work of missions in some way. Some may be able to contribute financially, others may not be able to help in this way; but we all have the opportunity to support the missionaries in prayer. It is easy to overlook the value of prayer, especially if we contribute in other ways. We do well to remember the words of the Psalmist : “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it “(Ps.127).


Contributed by Ian Carlson