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By Rich Peterson, Church Relations 

In a recent online event entitled, “The Changing Landscape of Mission.” Ted Esler, President of Missio Nexus suggested that the global population is growing older.

While our focus on mobilizing young people to engage in cross-cultural mission remains a priority, perhaps local churches and mission organizations (like WorldVenture) need to acknowledge the importance of unleashing older people on mission.

“Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13:2-3)

That’s pretty vague, don’t you think? I mean, if the work of international missions was so important, we might have thought that the Spirit would have been a bit more specific.

But not so much. Here the Spirit extends a call that is rather general and non-specific. Paul and Barnabas aren’t given a specific place with a specific task, just set apart for the work to which God had called them.

The nature of the work was not specified, much like the call to Abram. Or much like the call to Isaiah.

The call to Abram was go to the place I (God) will show you – and Abram left land and family and went.

Isaiah was called to go to those who would be hard pressed to hear, and responded, “Here I am send me.” (Isaiah 6:8)

In this case, the call to go was clear – the place and the work, not so much.

This still happens today!

The Spirit is still calling men and women into God’s service today! Sometimes that call comes when a person is young. But sometimes God even calls people into His service at a “later” time in life.

Anybody else thinking about Moses?

With God there doesn’t seem to be a “too old” mentality!

God’s call is still for some to go! And if God doesn’t want you to go to the cross-cultural field, He is calling you to send those He has called. Everybody is a part of the international mission plan of God, through going, giving, and praying!

A friend of mine, Karla Tillapaugh, Executive Director for Lightbridge International, recently wrote in her newsletter:

  • Some are called to go; many are called to give, and all are called to pray!
    • To those called to go their presence is profoundly important, but not enough.
    • To the many called to give, their gifts are deeply essential, but also not enough.
    • To all called to pray, their prayers are vitally significant, but still not enough.
  • “But somehow God takes the pieces of Go, Give, and Pray, attaches them together with our faith in powerful ways…and He changes everything!”

Every local church needs to understand that, for us to fulfill the Great Commission, there is still much work to be done. The world is the field, and the field is white unto harvest (John 4:35).

So, our responsibility is to pray that the Lord of the harvest will send out more workers (Mt. 9:38).

More “young” workers only? I don’t think so!

Discussion Questions:

Copy and paste the link to your social media with an answer to one of these questions. 

  • Are you following Jesus in the sense that you are “going, giving, or praying” and how?
  • If you are a missionary, share how God called you into missions.
  • If you are a prayer warrior, share how God called you into this ministry.
  • Share your thoughts on what you have just read.

Feel free to share your answers in our Facebook group here.

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