They say that “charity begins at home.”   But I would like to add to that:

          “Mission begins at home.”

A team of people recently returned from Estonia, where they had been on mission with the youth to help a church in Narva, on the Russian border.   It is the second time the youth have visited Narva, and earlier this year there was a Men’s Mercy Mission to the same area – visiting a rehab centre for men with drug or alcohol problems as well as other churches in the area.

It is a poor country, a poor area, with a level of poverty that bears no resemblance to our own community.   It’s not just the level of poverty, it’s the obvious extent of the poverty.   Imagine a town the size of Chester with only 2 or 3 shops!   There’s no money, so no shops, no economy.

And of course, Jesus said:

“If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

Matthew 19:21

But it has been said that “charity begins at home.”   So what about our mission field here in North Wales?

Of course, our heart for helping the poor comes from a willingness to follow Jesus – “to give to the poor, and follow” Jesus.   And His greatest commission to us is:

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations.”

Matthew 28:19

So, when we are on mission in Estonia, whilst helping the poor, we are also spreading the Gospel message – telling people about Jesus and what he means to us in our lives, and what it can mean to their lives too.

But mission begins at home!

You might think that we don’t need to spread the Gospel here in North Wales.   You might think that everyone knows about Jesus, and that the majority of the population are Christians anyway.   Wales has such a rich tradition and a plethora of churches and chapels, that you would think that there is no longer a need to spread the Gospel here.

However, statistics show that:

  • Less than 10% of the Welsh population are regular church- or chapel-goers (Wikipedia.org).
  • Christians in the UK could be in the minority by 2018 as figures suggest that numbers are declining 50% faster than previously thought (theguardian.com).

Mission begins at home!   The great commission starts at home!   We all have a mission field; be it our own family, our group of friends, our work colleagues, or our community.   Wherever your feet tread on a regular basis – that’s your mission field.

So how about it?   Will you take up the great commission?   Will you start your mission at home?   Will you give to the poor and share the message of the Gospel in your home, in your community?

Heavenly Father, may we all take up Your great commission, and follow Jesus; may we all start our mission at home; may we give to the poor as we are able, and may we make disciples; may we share Your Good News – Your Gospel, in Jesus’ name.   Amen