The purpose of this paper is threefold. First, analyze and study missions as conducted by my church. Second, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses. And lastly, make suggestions of how my church can improve to fully carry out the Great Commission.
The local church of which I chose to study the missions program is Fellowship Bible Church (FBC) of Tulsa, Oklahoma. This is the church I have attended all my life. Hence I have seen the involvement and at times the lack of involvement in missions that has brought us to where we currently stand.
Why is FBC involved in Missions? Lead Pastor Eric Bryan states the reason, “Plain and simple, Fellowship Bible Church is involved in missions because it is what Jesus commanded us to do! His parting words to his disciples included “go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19) and “you shall be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8) to parts near and far extending to the ends of the earth. After Jesus’ ascension, those disciples relentlessly and passionately proclaimed the Gospel message just as their Savior had commanded them to do…and the command has not changed…even in the 21st century! It is both privilege and priority to be on mission for our Savior, and we as a local body of believers will continue to passionately pursue opportunities to share the Good News with those who have not yet come to faith in Jesus Christ.” (Bryan) The stated purpose behind why we have a missions team is to “Mobilize Fellowship Bible Church to proclaim the Gospel, make disciples and establish local churches here and around the world.” (Beasley)
Overall FBC has done well in proclaiming the gospel and establishing/supporting churches around the globe through their finances. This is one of their strengths. Twenty-three percent of FBC’s budget is spent on supporting missionaries and local mission outreach. (Hilderbrand) As of right now FBC supports thirty-three missionaries and several agencies. (Beasley)
Starting with the uttermost parts of the earth, looking at “Samaria” and moving into my own “Jerusalem” let me give you an overview of how FBC serves the entire globe.
On the foreign field proclaiming the gospel are missionaries from within and without our local body. Fourteen foreign countries and five continents are represented by these faithful servants of Christ. “These missionaries serve the unchurched, the homeless, tribal groups, Muslims, the underprivileged, the underground church, and those entrapped in false religions through medical missions, pastor training, counseling, orphans ministry, disciplemaking training, evangelical outreach, and church planting.” (Fellowship Bible Church) While there are some for whom FBC was not their home church, over half of our supported missionaries attended FBC before being called to their current location. Neil Beasley director of administration for the missions team says, “This could be due to the active mission operation that has existed in the past.” (Beasley)