Feature

Pushing Back the Darkness

By

A question has stalked me for months: If we brought every U.S. Alliance missionary home and started over again, where would we go? What countries would we not go to?

In some places where we have people today, we’d continue. In other places, we’d say: “Having missionaries in this country last century was important, but it’s not as needed now. Today there are Alliance churches and many other partners there who can carry on the work.”

If we’re in countries we would not go to, we should put a transition plan in place and graciously, gradually exit. History tells us those churches will get along much better without us because even though we are no longer there, God is! And the more they depend upon Him rather than us, the healthier they’ll be.

Here’s another heavy, extremely realistic question that’s gripped me. If the C&MA were to stand before God and He asked, “Why are more than one billion people still without easy access to the gospel?” what would we say?

“Well, Lord, those people are located in places where the Alliance isn’t working.” If this is the case, let’s go to these places with urgency!

“Those people are just not responsive. Too much cost and too high risk for too little fruit.” Lost people matter to God, and He wants them found! Didn’t Jesus say something about leaving the 99 so that just one could be rescued?

“Lord, we just don’t have money to start new work among the remaining unengaged, unreached people.” Since when is the fulfillment of Christ’s mission dependent on money? In the days of the Early Church the apostles said “silver and gold have I none,” but the churches grew daily and the gospel advanced. Do we not still bear the powerful Name of Jesus and minister in the power of His Spirit, equipped with weapons of warfare that are not of this world?

“We’re already feeling overwhelmed, Lord. We’re not sure how much more we can do.” We are not to become weary in well doing, knowing that in God’s time we will see a harvest. Our calling is to invest strategically and passionately until His mission is fulfilled!

Here’s the vision: We will join other partners in going from the light areas to the dark ones, with Christ’s empowerment to push back the darkness. Here’s what it will look like:

  • Being bold in moving from the places where the Church is to where the Church isn’t—from the light-filled areas to the dark ones.
  • Nurturing C&MA DNA in the hearts of believers in the country where you serve, helping them see their responsibility to help push back the darkness among their people and cross culturally.
  • Having a “pressing into the darkness” posture. If you’re in a well-lit area, don’t anticipate staying there long. We’re heading into the darkness, empowered by “the Light of the world” and on mission with Him!

This is extremely urgent. The eternal destiny of millions of people in dark places like Mongolia, North Africa, Kurdistan, post-Christian Europe, the Muslim world, Central Asia and India is hanging in the balance.

As we transition from places of abundant light, we want to serve shoulder-to-shoulder with as many light-bearers from our Alliance World Fellowship partner churches as possible. What joy it is to see them and other evangelicals from around the world aflame with missionary passion.

We cannot both sustain workers in well lit areas and press with urgency and resolve into the darkness. To embrace the idea of going where the darkness is greatest, some of us will need to honorably disengage from better-lit areas of the world to enable the sending of workers to darker countries or go to them ourselves. Areas of pervasive darkness will be high priority.

A paradigm shift that’s well underway is the shift from one category of worker to embracing a growing diversification both in the kinds of workers and the strategies and methods we embrace. Funding for these workers will come from several sources under the umbrella of Great Commission Ministries. We will still send Great Commission–funded, career, church-planting personnel, but at the same time, there will be International Fellowship of Alliance Professionals (IFAP) workers, Compassion and Mercy Associates (CAMA) personnel, business people as mission laypersons and others.

There may be at least 639 unengaged, unreached people groups with populations of more than 100,000 (www.finishingthetask. com). What is meant by unengaged? No Scripture. No missionaries. No church. No known believers. No access to the gospel.

There are no God-forsaken places in the world, just church-forsaken ones that remain in utter darkness. We are praying and trusting that God will allow The Alliance to be instrumental in pushing back the darkness in these places as we move forward in faith.

Past Alliance Life Issues

Share

Get Involved...

Pray.

We cannot “Live the Call Together” unless prayer is central to all we do.
Pray with us »

Serve.

Is God calling you to service? We’re here to help you connect your passion with God’s purpose.
Serve with The Alliance »

Give.

Help build Christ’s Church by supporting the ministry and workers of The Alliance.
Give today »