The GospelAnd why wouldn’t we be? It’s the power that brings salvation to everyone who believes. (Rom 1:16)

It’s this passion that is at the core of all wedo as a Board and as employees of GC3. It’s what motivates us. It undergirds all we do in serving mission partners and churches. And I’ve got to admit it’s what brings me into work each day. What a wonderful message we have to take to others. How good it is having a part in doing just that.

Each year when our Daily Prayer Guide is published, I draw out analysis on the mission partners we have included there. This year is no exception. As I look over the 200 adults listed, I’m reminded we have people here who are just as passionate about the gospel. Seriously passionate! Whether living overseas or based here in New Zealand, we have 114 ‘units’ who have dedicated their lives this year to again present that same gospel message in forty countries around the globe in a huge variety of ways. God gives His people gifts, talents and abilities, then goes ahead and prepares a ministry position that just suits.

But there’s another statistic which highlights that passion for the gospel so many have had for all their lives. It’s summed up in the fact that across that group of adults collectively they have given over 3,000 years of service to God. That’s dedication! That’s commitment, often in the face of significant challenges! That’s a deep passion for the gospel, to explain its life-changing message to others!

Like me, you may have heard it said that these days our mission partners aren’t going to a field for as long as they used to. While in the past there was anecdotal evidence to support this notion, further analysis of the 3,000+ years portrays a stabilising trend. Here are the adult numbers who have served across the various decades –

10-19 years 35
20-29 years 27
30-39 years 23
40+ years 15

 There is an equal number in the 0-9 years category as those in the 10+ years group. This has been the general position for some years now.

Let us praise God for His intervention in our lives as we celebrate the dedication of the people we have behind these numbers and statistics. It’s His cross-cultural work they are engaged in. Let us thank Him for the impact that the gospel message has had in our lives. We now have a story that aligns with His story. We now have a powerful story we can tell others about.

But how can we do that best?

Tucked away in 1 Chronicles 12:32 is an expression I love.Talking of the men of Issachar, it says they were “men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” This is a superb prayer we can use, humbly asking that we might understand the times and know how best to explain our faith journey, how to engage effectively in spreading God’s message to folk around us. It’s a great prayer irrespective of whether we are one of the 200 adults immersed in a crosscultural setting or we are doing life with a friend here in New
Zealand. The desired outcome is the same where-ever we are, for us to be a link in the chain God uses to bring His salvation to others.

Let’s all be passionate about the gospel, developing creative ways to communicate it clearly to others. Practice telling how you are in God’s story to a Christian friend. Encourage them, build your confidence … for one day God may call you to be a part of the analysis of our Daily Prayer Guide!

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