God has a “world-sized” role for every Christian in His global purpose. Whether people go to distant countries or stay at home is a secondary issue. God calls all believers to view the world through His eyes of compassion. We are charged to pray for the lost around the world, give toward gospel causes throughout the world, and go to serve the needs in the world. -Pastor Dave
Open: Describe the last time you were gripped by a physical and spiritual need around the world.
Read: Matthew 9; Luke 10 1.
1. Why do many Christians struggle with missions? Which needs around the world grip your heart the most? Why? How do the challenges of proximity and despair hinder our efforts around the world?
2. Jesus had compassion for people. What did He notice about the people that caused His response (notice the reactions to Jesus’ work and miracles in chapter 9)? How were the people being “harassed” and “helpless”?
3. Describe the characteristics of Biblical compassion: In what ways do we have “incomplete” compassion? What hinders us from doing something about the needs that we see? Describe the contrast between the metaphor of the sheep and shepherd with the harvest and laborers: How is the church the answer to Christ’s request for laborers?
4. Jesus called us to pray for laborers. Do you think most Christians pray these types of prayers? Why or why not? How should God being called the “Lord of the harvest” correlate with our prayers (how should our prayers be affected by this title)?
5. It’s easy to pray for missions. It’s a little harder to give to send others. What makes going on short-term mission trips so frightening? Have you ever been on a short-term mission trip? Why or why not? How does missions make us more aware of God’s work in our own lives?
Pray: Pray that you would grow a deeper heart of compassion and concern for the needs of the lost around the world. Pray for Crossroads as we send and go to support our global partners.
Memorize/Meditate: Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38