Our Mission at Skyline Church is to be relentlessly dedicated to teaching the truth and relevance of Scripture. We do this seven days a week because we believe that following Jesus isn’t JUST something to do on Sunday. We do it every day. And we do it … all over the world.
While Skyline Church has been sending people out into the mission field for years, I want to share about one project in particular that speaks to why we do what we do. In Central Asia, the Gospel is being withheld from a primarily Muslim population. It is illegal to have a Bible and to talk about Jesus. This area of the world is dangerous and hostile towards those of opposing beliefs. It’s so dangerous, we have had to use code words to protect the lives of missionaries and new believers living in this country. We have to call the place Nuneland.
This region reminds me of a parable in the book Mark. The soil in this country is incredibly hard! Any seed that is scattered is immediately eaten by birds. Their lack of resources keeps people from establishing spiritual roots. Government regulations choke out any remnant of hope Jesus has to offer. But, “How beautiful are the feet of the messengers who bring the Good News” (Romans 10:14-15). We know that nothing is impossible through Jesus Christ. That is why we have a team of faithful people on the inside.
Several years ago we sent a team into this country, much like Joshua sent spies into the city of Jericho. Our team has started a community enriching business. It is a non-religious business that gives them the ability to stay in the country long term. Our team has been learning the language and the culture of the people. While the majority of the people in this part of the world have never interacted with a true follower of Jesus, our team has built several relationships with locals while leading some to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ! THIS is why we do what we do! This is why following Jesus isn't just something we do on Sunday. Living your everyday life as a follower of Jesus is what people need to see.
People are seeking an authentic and real relationship with God. Not a perfect relationship, but one that shows authenticity and transparency. But in today's culture, it's rare. By seeking God seven days a week, we can reach the unreachable! You don't have to have a religious job. You can do the same thing we’re doing in Central Asia and other parts of the world right where you are! You can share your personal spiritual journey with your Oikos. In Mark 5:19, Jesus told the new believer, "Go back to your own people, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how he has had mercy on you...." Your own people is translated in the original New Testament language of Greek to your Oikos.
Your Oikos is anyone in your relational network; that means your neighbor, family, friends, co-workers, gym buddy, grocery clerk … anyone you’ve built a relationship with. This is why the guy on the corner with the street sign yelling "turn or burn" does not work. He has no relationship with the people in the cars driving by. They just think he's nuts.
In our example in Mark 5, notice Jesus didn't tell him to make sure he had all the theological questions figured out and make sure he's wearing nice clothes, and bring a cardboard sign, no no no... he just said go back and tell your story of what God has done for you and how he has had mercy on you. That's what we're supposed to do as well. That's how you "witness." You tell your story about God's mercy to your Oikos because there is some relational trust there. Just make sure to leave the cardboard sign at home.
You can also partner with us in this mission of spreading the Gospel by praying. We never underestimate the power of prayer! Your prayers ARE needed and appreciated; especially for those who are risking their lives in Central Asia. We also have something we call Faith Promise. Those who give to Faith Promise are giving to our missionaries around the world who are building relationships, disciples, small groups, and churches for Jesus. When you give to Faith Promise, we keep you in the loop by sending you a Global Missions e-newsletter throughout the year. It's an exciting way to stay up to date with our missionaries and you’ll also learn about specific prayer requests and projects that are thriving in other countries for God's Kingdom. If you'd like to give to Faith Promise please visit our giving page on the website and hit the dropdown menu that says "Missions/Faith Promise." It is such an exciting time to be part of the Mission!
I want to invite you to keep our Global and Local Missions teams in your prayers. Will you pray for richer soil in hard places, and for the hearts of the hopeless, for hearts to soften and receive the Good News of Jesus Christ? Let me know if you’re joining me in this prayer by filling out a Connection Card at SkylineChurch.org. This will encourage our teams around the world as they share the relevance of scripture to every tribe, nation and tongue.