1. There is no better year to start than this year.
I heard a Chinese proverb saying, “the best day to plant a tree is 20 years ago, and the second-best day is today.” I think that is an illustration of applying the Biblical principle, “teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts” (Psalm 90:12 CSB).
If you look back 20 years from now, will you want to have started participating in missions in 2021 or will you want to have waited? Start now and I believe you won’t regret it. Imagine yourself years from now telling future generations, “We started in a pandemic, how crazy was that? But God blesses faithfulness in unexpected ways.” When you look at 2021 from the perspective of eternity, there is no reason to wait and every reason to persevere.
2. Times of crisis reveal our priorities.
When we are forced to make cutbacks and reconsider our goals, we should see the Great Commission at the top of our list of priorities. When times are good it is easy grow distracted and complacent towards spreading the gospel and making disciples. There is nothing like a global pandemic to shake us out of a haze and remind us of what is truly important.
I think often of the parable of the rich man in Luke 12 who said to himself:
“‘You have many goods stored up for many years. Take it easy; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is demanded of you. And the things you have prepared—whose will they be?’ That’s how it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:19-21 CSB).
Like every year, 2021 is a great year to store up treasure for the kingdom of God.
3. Christ has promised to be with us, even in a pandemic.
The Great Commission isn’t on hold during pandemics because Christ promised to always be with us (Matthew 28:20). During the Reformation, churches in places like Geneva continued to send missionaries while the plague devastated Europe. They weren’t sending missionaries in spite of the plague, but because of the plague. They knew that life was short, and that people needed to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. Additionally, the plague was a reminder to them of God’s judgement and the need for repentance. There is no better time to show Christ-centered compassion to others that when we are surrounded by fear and suffering.
If you are thinking about waiting for 2021 to pass before becoming involved in a missions ministry then I think you should seriously reconsider. There are many ways for you to participate in the accomplishment of the Great Commission locally and globally in 2021. I encourage you to talk with others in your local church to see how you can be more involved in missions this year.