“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man.” John Piper
Several years ago I had the privilege of taking a class at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary called “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement”. This class excited me personally, and I signed up with the hopes of gaining insight on engaging internationals right here in Pittsburgh. Missions is a great passion of mine, having received a Masters in Arts in Religion with a focus on missions at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, PA. My passion has led me to build relationships with my neighbors with Muslim backgrounds, work with Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) in Australia, engage with Pittsburgh Regional International Student Ministry (PRISM), and purposefully reach out to internationals in my neighborhood. I knew this class would only further ignite my heart for missions. I was right.
I was blown away by the class. We studied God’s heart for the unreached, the biblical call to reach the nations, the history of missions, missional approaches throughout the centuries, and we ultimately gained a deeper understanding of God.
The accessibility of the class was incredibly encouraging. The material was applicable to anyone who stepped through the door-whether a person had previous involvement in missions, worked at a church, was a lay leader in the church, or was a Christian simply wanting to learn more. I was very impacted by the class. The content was straightforward, deeply biblical, and helped us move toward God’s heart for the world and Himself.
To my surprise several of the lessons were taught by mission-minded pastors and leaders that I had already rubbed shoulders with in the city. I made new connections with people doing ministry in the city and learned practical next steps for engaging more intentionally with my Muslim friends in the city. It was also incredibly encouraging to see a fellow church staff member in attendance receive the nudge from the Lord to begin a prayer group for the church. They have been meeting for over a year now and have spread over to an additional church campus.
I was encouraged to hear that “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement” would be represented at the Imagine Conference this year. I want to strongly encourage anyone looking to know more about God’s heart for the world to consider participating. Do not let anything stop you from pursuing God’s call for you in this area. As I think of a Christian’s call to “proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9), I am also reminded of the promise made in Romans 8:31-39: nothing can “separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39). As we serve God and our hearts align more closely with His, may we be reminded of the hope and security we have in Him.
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
Register for the Imagine Conference to discover more of God’s heart for the world and where you fit in.
Pat Michael, North Way Oakland Outreach Director (In Partnership with Didasko Ministries)
For more information on a Perspectives Class near you, click here.