Bringing Christ to people around the world
In the 121 years since the Missouri Synod sent its first missionaries to India, our church has been involved in international mission. Not only has much changed since then, the 21st century has brought new opportunities and challenges.
The mission field, as described by Hermann Sasse, is “where the church and that which is not church meet.” This always has been the case in the mission field, as the place where the Gospel of Jesus Christ meets sinners who are in need of forgiveness and life. The primary goal of LCMS international mission work is to proclaim the Gospel to a lost and fallen world. This is done both directly by our missionaries, and it is done by helping to support our partners and the local church to proclaim the Gospel where they are located.
Long gone are the days of the lone missionary with a machete in a distant jungle. Rather, missionary service now involves a community with partners — some long-standing, some new and others emerging, in an increasingly urban environment. Our missionaries, of course, share the Gospel where they are sent, but increasingly they are asked to train and equip future pastors, evangelists and lay people to share their faith. Our missionaries also provide human care, feed the hungry, help the sick and the hurting, and visit those in prison. Missionaries connect the world to the church.
Particularly over the past few decades, missionary service also has included partnering and connecting the sending church and its districts, congregations, Recognized Service Organizations and other groups to the mission field. This January, please pray for your missionaries who serve overseas, pray that the Lord of the harvest sends laborers around the world to proclaim His saving Gospel and pray that the church continues to support that mission.
In Jesus’ name,
Rev. Dr. Albert B. Collver III
Director, LCMS Church Relations and Regional Operations for the Office of International Mission