Going to the Nations
Morningview Baptist’s mission statement is as follows: Morningview Baptist Church exists to pursue intimacy with God above all else and to join Him in declaring His glory and advancing His kingdom among all peoples.
Morningview Baptist Church’s mission statement correctly reflects God’s redemptive plan for mankind from the beginning of the Old Testament and throughout the entire Bible. God’s desire to disciple all nations is well known from the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, but the original Great Commission is actually found in Genesis in God’s calling and blessing of Abraham in Genesis 12 that in him “all the families (nations) of the earth shall be blessed.”
God’s heart for the nations is reaffirmed in His deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt (Ex 9:14-16), Solomon’s dedication prayer for the temple (I Kings 8:41-43), the priestly role of Israel (Ex 19:4-6), God’s moving Jonah to proclaim His name to the Ninevites, and on and on. God’s heart has always been for all nations.
How then shall we focus our efforts on the Great Commission? God’s desire from Genesis 12 through Revelation is to be worshipped by all peoples, or people of all nations. What is meant by nations in this verse and throughout Scripture? The word used in Old Testament and New Testament refers to ethno-linguistic groups. When the Bible speaks of nations it is clearly not speaking of politically drawn geographic boundaries of countries around the world. There are many ethnic groups with geographic boundaries. Interpreting the word nation biblically means people who share a common language, culture, and worldview. Biblically, nations are independent of geo-political boundaries but are essential people-groups.
As we at MBC seek to be a biblical church that is more intentionally involved in the Great Commission, we are focusing our efforts on people of other ethno-linguistic groups. After all, God blessed Abraham so that his people could be a blessing to the nations of the earth. As spiritual sons and daughters of Abraham, our Great Commission focus must be on reaching other nations of the world.
Within this category of all nations we have identified three subgroups,
- (1) Engaged People Groups: These are people groups that have a significant gospel presence where greater than 2% of the population are considered evangelical believers. Although people in these people groups are not reached, they have access to the Bible and gospel.
- (2) Unreached People Groups: These are people groups where less than 2% of the population professes biblical faith in Christ. Although many of these people groups have believers, the church is not strong and the general population often does not have access to the gospel.
- (3) Unengaged People Groups: These are people groups that are unreached and the members of these groups have no opportunity to hear the gospel because there is no intentional gospel ministry being done to reach them.
One way that we seek to keep God’s heart for the nations before us at Morningview Baptist is by holding an annual Missions Conference. During this conference we desire to bring our hearts in line with God’s heart for the nations by hearing truth from God’s word, updates from each of our three people group partnerships, strategic ways in which we can be involved, and a focused time of prayer interceding on behalf of the nations.
God’s name “will be great among the nations.” Our God is sovereign and will accomplish his purposes. May our passion for God’s glory drive us to be involved in God glorifying Himself and being worshipped among the nations.
For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 1:11)