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Stories & Blog

The Greatest Global Challenge: Keeping the Vision Alive

The Greatest Global Challenge: Keeping the Vision Alive

Read the series: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7

In this article, missions pastor Bill Bateman shares about the greatest challenge in the global ministry of his church. 

The Greatest Global Challenge: Keeping the Vision Alive

by Bill Bateman, Global Outreach Pastor of Calvary Fellowship

Truly times have changed since my wife and I left the comfort of home, family and friends in the U.S. for cross-cultural service in the mid-90s. Our church was thrilled to see a family of five, along with the family pet, follow the Lord’s leading. And in calling us “their missionaries,” they pledged their support, almost unconditionally, as long as we stayed the course. When I accepted the position of Global Outreach Pastor in that same church, my goal was to enable others to do the same as we did some 20 years ago. But, things have changed.
The role the North American church plays in the reality of “from everywhere to everywhere” leads me to my greatest challenge. If it is true that others may be able to do the job more efficiently, being closer and more readily accepted than Westerners, are we now relegated to simply digging wells and spreading mosquito nets? I think not. My greatest challenge in today’s global outreach environment is trying to keep alive the understanding that we are all charged with the Great Commission until our Lord returns. And it takes people, energy and enormous funding to finish the mission.
We may have the technology, the resources, and the experience that has hopefully taught us many lessons; but what often seems lacking is vision. Our vision must go beyond token and short-term investments in the global purposes of God. He has blessed us to bless others. He has blessed us to see just what we’ll do with His abundance. He has blessed us to join with all of creation in the unending worship of an Almighty who is far greater than the universe He created and the “me” on whom I focus. I truly believe that Satan, the great deceiver who masquerades as an angel of light, would have us focus on ourselves and our needs (not to be ignored) rather than the least and the lost — both in our own world where we can make a difference, and in the least-reached areas of the world where few are making a difference.
My greatest challenge as Global Outreach Pastor is to keep the vision alive — the vision that sees souls from every nation, tribe, people and language standing before the throne and before the Lamb. And, in journeying from current reality to Revelation reality, we are not to hand the baton on to the next runner as many have suggested. Rather, we are to run alongside our new partners in this Great Commission, whose only expiration date is the return of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

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