As our mission team prepares to begin our trip to Haiti tomorrow I have been thinking about the reason we are going. The immediate purpose for the trip is to remodel the mission house on the mission compound of Good Shepherd Ministries in Milot, Haiti and investigate how we might become involved in the construction of a hospital in Savane Carrie, Haiti. However, our purpose for going on mission goes beyond these two construction projects. We desire to see the Gospel of Jesus Christ advanced to the ends of the earth. New Day Church is serious about the Gospel. We desire to see lives transformed by the beautiful message of hope found only in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Therefore we desire to not only talk about seeing lives transformed but we desire to lead New Day to personally enter into advancing the Gospel throughout the world. The way we will do this is through our G.O.S.P.E.L. Plan.
Give to Missions
A call to be a disciple of Jesus Christ is a call to surrender every aspect of our lives to advance God’s purpose in the world. As missionaries willingly risk their lives for the advancement of the Gospel we recognize that it takes money to send them to the field. Paul told the church at Corinth that “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:6-7 ESV).” Therefore, at New Day, we desire to give generously to missions. We give 10% of all our undesignated gifts from our congregation to the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention. These funds support mission endeavors in the state of Florida, throughout the USA, and to the ends of the earth. We also give 2% of all our undesignated gifts from our congregation to the Walton County Baptist Association in order to advance the Gospel throughout the county in which we live. But giving to missions goes beyond these two organizations. Believers from New Day also assisted those men who are going to Haiti with the cost of their trip. We are continually looking for other mission endeavors to support because we believe God loves a cheerful giver.
Offer Assistance to the Poor
We live in a world filled with poverty. From Walton County to the ends of the earth people are struggling to meet their basic physical needs such as food, water, and housing. Even though our country is one of the most prosperous in the world there are still people who live among us who live in extreme poverty. Further, around the world there are literally thousands of children who die due to starvation and preventable diseases. Jesus had much to say about ministry to the poor. While we don’t believe caring for the poor is a means of salvation, we do believe it is evidence of our salvation. Therefore we offer minister locally to the poor in a variety of ways whether it be financial, spiritual, or physical care. We do this not because it will make God love us more but rather because God loves the poor and He shows that love through His people.
Sending missionaries is not something we do…it is who we are. We are Great Commission people. Jesus said we are to make disciples of all the nations by “going” (Matthew 28:19). This is who we are as Christ’s church. Therefore, we desire to send people to the ends of the earth on short-term and long-term mission trips. Haiti is one of those locations we want to go. But it is not the only place we want to go. We want to send missionaries literally around the world to places like Guatemala, North America, China, the Middle East, and all places in between. We have a deep desire to preach the Gospel where it has not been proclaimed. There are literally thousands of people groups that have never heard the name of Jesus. We are currently praying for God to open a door to us to one or more of these people groups who have never heard so that we might send missionaries among them to proclaim the beautiful message of hope found only in the Gospel.
New Day Church is an infant church. Our prayer is that God would add to His church and we would grow spiritually and numerically. Our heart’s desire, however, is to be like Paul and Silas who “turned the world upside down” with the message of the Gospel (Acts 17:6). We believe this will be accomplished by planting healthy, growing, disciple-making churches. As we send missionaries around the world, we desire for God to clearly show us where and how to plant more churches. We believe the way the world will be reached with the Gospel is to plant churches everywhere. We desire to plant churches in Florida, North America, and among unreached people groups around the world.
Disciple-making is the job of every believer. We take this seriously at New Day Church. The Elders are responsible to equip the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:12). Therefore, our structure of worship, small group community, and missional living helps equip disciple-makers. Our small groups are designed to help disciples of Christ learn how to apply the biblical truths presented weekly during worship and then live them out daily wherever they may go. Whether a disciple of Christ is sharing the Gospel with a co-worker, struggling with everyday life issues, raising up godly children, or planting a church among an unreached people, we believe the Gospel addresses every aspect of life and therefore we are committed to equipping them to live their lives in light of this beautiful message of hope.
Love our Communities
I have often pondered these two questions – “What if our church ceased to exist tomorrow? Would anyone care?” These are challenging questions. My prayer is that wherever we go in Walton County people would know that the people of New Day Church love each other and we love them. Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35 ESV). Therefore, we will strive to display Christ’s love to our communities. We will do this through a variety of means – whether it is hosting a Family Fun Day, Loads of Love, Summer Bible Adventure, or various service projects, we pray that others will see our “good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 ESV).