How can Christians go and make disciples of all nations when we can’t even leave home?
The coronavirus may have shifted the missional landscape, but God is still working, and he invites all believers to labor for his purpose. Here are three ways every Christian can engage in that global task.
1. Embrace National Partners
Faithful, trained, missional believers exist all over the globe—not just in North America. Sometimes we are called to go, but other times we are called to partner with national believers already on the field. From itinerant evangelists and seminary teachers to orphanage directors and traveling musicians, these national workers are often more effective in their own culture than outsiders— without needing a visa or language school to do it. Live Global, a ministry initiative of ABWE, helps the North American church connect with these gospel ambassadors and meet their needs.
Anyone can be a prayer warrior, financial supporter, or advocate for these national partners from home. Even the Apostle Paul did missions through partnerships during his ministry (Philippians 1:5). God works best when two come together with the same vision, each giving what God has given them.
2. Redeem Technology
Technology can reach where the gospel has yet to reach. There are more than 4.3 billion active internet users worldwide, and the majority are in Asia. Five billion people worldwide own a cell phone. Just as the Apostle Paul used the tools of his day for the gospel, we must do the same.
During the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of churches across the globe transitioned to online services. But this is only the beginning of what can be done.
The internet goes places North Americans can’t. Use it to send free gospel materials and evangelism resources to people in hard-to-reach countries.
Use an app like Marco Polo, Signal, or WhatsApp to send a short recorded message. Read a verse, say “I’m thinking of you,” or pray for someone.
Use Facebook, Zoom, or Google Meet to video chat. You can use these for online discipleship, to read Scripture together, or to talk about how you’re managing the challenges we share.
3. Believe that God Can Use COVID-19 for Good
Throughout both Scripture and history, what we see as spiritual opposition is often what God uses to stimulate kingdom expansion. The Apostle Paul couldn’t get to Rome, so instead he wrote a letter to the Romans. Jim Elliot was killed, but through his wife and the wives of the other men on the mission, God saved the Auca people and a new missions movement took off.
We don’t know entirely what God is doing through COVID-19, but we can praise and serve him creatively in the midst of it because the Lord says, “Behold, I am doing a new thing” (Isaiah 43:19)