Why Missions?

Tuesday, July 5, 2022
Pastor Jesse McCain

Summer is here and that means camp and Vacation Bible School. We have already sent several groups ranging from elementary to high school to camp from FBCA. VBS is quickly approaching here in July and this year will have a unique element. Our friends from Linz Baptist Church in Austria will be joining us at FBCA for the week of VBS to encourage and support us. Not only will they be helping out with VBS, but we will also take some time to connect with local community partners and the work they do in Alexandria.

Through a couple of conversations, I’ve realized that it's not typical for groups to come and support the church here in America. Where this does occur in the states, for many of us it is the exception to the norm. A question I have been faced with is, “Why are they coming here?”. For FBCA and its Mission and Evangelism Commission (MEC) the simplest answer is two words, relationship and partnership. Out of a proper relationship with God, we seek to build relationships with people that reflect the relationship we have with God.  God seeks out people so that they might know him (relationship) and experience redemption; believers seek out others that they may know God (relationship) and experience redemption. As we encounter fellow believers redeemed and in relationship with God, we partner together supporting and encouraging one another as we seek God’s work together.

The MEC desires partnerships which are mutually beneficial and where a priority on relationships is present. Alexandria is all too familiar with non-profits and community organizations which serve people well. What sets apart the church from non-profits which serve people, giving opportunities for volunteering, and resource distribution? I’m deeply convicted that proper relationship with God and others should be a major distinguishing factor. A Christian approach to relationships should stand out in the world. For partnerships/relationships between people to be beneficial, they need to be mutually beneficial. The Baptist belief Priesthood of the Believer pushes for this type of relationship. The main idea of this belief is that everyone who turns to God in faith stands on equal ground. None is elevated above fellow individuals. None are diminished below their peers.

Let’s return to the question stated above. “Why is the group from Linz Baptist Church coming to Alexandria?” Why does FBCA go to Linz, Austria? FBCA goes to Linz to support and encourage believers. We go to Linz to listen and learn from people who live in a different context with different people. We go to Linz to serve in humility. FBCA goes to partner with other believers in gospel work and relationships.

If the American Church thinks it is above the help, encouragement, and support of believers from other countries … it probably thinks a bit too much of itself. If the American Church understands its relationship with fellow believers well, it will understand that it needs other believers. Our friends from Linz have their own experiences and perspectives which can be beneficial to us. They come not only to support and encourage, but to listen and learn from us. When Jesus is elevated above all else, we refuse to elevate ourselves above others and refuse to diminish others below ourselves. FBCA partners with others because we can all receive support, give encouragement, and learn from one another.        




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