Foursquare family on mission

Foursquare Missions International Director Ted Vail shares how God has uniquely positioned us to share the gospel together.

Ted Vail

This really is the greatest time to be alive if you want to fulfill Jesus’ commission from Matthew 28:19 to “make disciples of all the nations” (NJKV), making sure everyone gets a chance to experience God’s love.

Foursquare Missions International (FMI) finds itself in a unique place, in part because it started with the belief that the local guy or gal could bring the gospel to his or her own people.

We call this missiology the Four Stages of national church development, following a pattern we see in the Bible. We send missionaries to reach and disciple locals; locals then become leaders; they establish churches; and that creates movements within our Foursquare movement.

What puts FMI in such an exciting place now is that we have a global force of national leaders and workers. It’s not just the U.S. Church that’s doing this. It’s a global movement reaching the world together.

Reaching the unreached: It includes you!

When Jesus was in Samaria, He said (to paraphrase John 4:35): “Lift up your eyes, and look at the fields. You say four months until the harvest, but I say right now.” It’s interesting that He said this in Samaria. These were people that the Jews didn’t even see as a legitimate harvest, but Christ said that they were ready and that His followers should “lift up [their] eyes” to the possibilities.

In the same way, we live in a time when we can take the gospel to those who are different than us, to cross borders and participate in cross-cultural ministry. God has brought the nations to our shores as students, refugees, immigrants and workers. It’s like the Lord is saying, “Hey, I trust you guys to reach out to them if I bring them to you.”

God is trusting us and leading us to all be on mission together. This isn’t just elite missionaries doing the work “somewhere out there.” Don’t get me wrong—we do still need missionaries and apostolic, catalytic nation-changers. But we also need neighborhood-changers.

Foursquare Missions International is your missions department. Our success is helping you to get the gospel to everybody. You are needed—as a church, as a pastor, as a person—to be on mission with us as we reach the nations.

Partnering as a global foursquare family

I’m so grateful for what God has done in this movement to allow us to be in a season of growth. But it will only work if we do it together, with true partnership.

Now, partnership isn’t code for “just give us money”; instead, we see partnership as much more holistic. If you look in Philippians, partnership is the joining together of believers in praying, in giving and supporting workers who otherwise couldn’t support themselves, and in going to the world as missionaries. Each of us has an opportunity to put our lives in the offering plate, saying, “Here I am. Send me” (Isa. 6:8, NLT).

So, here’s good news and bad news: You are limited. No one person is the apostle of everything. No one person is going to reach the world alone. God has designed us as people, but also as churches, to be limited and to need one another. If we’re going to reach the world, if we’re going to reach your neighborhood, it’s going to come with partnership.

Imagine a people group moves into your neighborhood, but you’re not sure how to reach them. Now imagine that you have at your disposal the resources of a global movement that is already reaching that people group.

Our FMI area missionaries are extensions of your local church. They minister and serve cross-culturally all over the world. They are available to answer your questions about how to reach people in your neighborhood.

They’re also key to us strategically allotting the catalytic FMI Global Mission Fund, which focuses on the unreached and on strategic partnership with our global Foursquare family. It is dependent on Foursquare churches’ generosity, and 100 percent of this fund goes to the field. It’s even allotted to cover workers in areas that we can’t talk about—countries where you might think, “The gospel’s probably not able to reach that place.”

Finding creative means for missions today

What we’re realizing is that many doors for traditional missions worldwide are being closed. With this in mind, we’re looking for other ways to bring the gospel to people.

One aspect of missions that we’ve rediscovered is disaster relief. Foursquare’s heritage is sharing the gospel through proclamation and demonstration—acts of power through the Holy Spirit and also acts of compassion.

Foursquare Disaster Relief (FDR) works worldwide to bring that cold cup of water in Jesus’ name, to help people in crisis, through local Foursquare churches that have a presence where disasters have struck, and that are going to be there after TV cameras and first responders are gone.

We’re also finding creative ways to bring the gospel through people who may not be classical trained ministers or funded missionaries. Business As Mission (BAM) provides a way for business professionals to take the gospel to influential people within a country. We’re seeing more students on mission; we’re seeing immigration as mission. Doors to traditional missions may be closing in some ways, but we’re seeing God open doors in new areas.

Praying to push back the darkness

When I look down the list of once-unreached people groups that now have the gospel through Foursquare missions, they all have one thing in common: They have all experienced a miracle or a demonstration of the Holy Spirit.

Of course, resources, workers and funds are important, but we’re looking at places where the first thing we need is a huge breakthrough in prayer. When you go after the unreached, you really are breaking down strongholds of darkness.

Without this partnership of prayer, all of us together, reaching the unreached will never happen. So, can I ask you to pray? Pray for the nations. We have been called to reach them, whether overseas or just past your backyard.

In light of this commission, we need your partnership in the gospel at all levels. At harvest time, everyone has work. We at FMI want to help you fulfill the Great Commission in your world. It’s bigger than we are, but it’s not bigger than God. Let us know how we can help you. Together, we can reach the world.

Three ways you can reach the unreached with FMI:

PRAY: Download FMI’s Monthly Prayer Guides, and pray daily for specific regions and people. Find printable guides.

GIVE: Give personally and as a church to FMI’s Global Mission Fund, which focuses on reaching the unreached. Give now.

GO: Train intensively to become an FMI missionary, ready to deploy wherever God calls. Sign up now.

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is vice president of global operations for The Foursquare Church and director of Foursquare Missions International.
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