Missions is defined as the work of evangelizing or bringing the gospel to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). By vision, we are concerned with the spirit or underlying reason why JOY is devoted to the work of missions. Having been blessed as a nation, where JOY is part of a community in New Jersey, United States, we believe that we are called to be a blessing to others (Genesis 12:2).
This Abrahamic blessing is ultimately about building the kingdom of God, which is concerned with the salvation of all peoples in order that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord may be saved and be reunited with God (Matthew 5:3-11, Romans 10:13).
For this reason we are called not only to a relationship with God, but also to go bring the good news to others, that these people may have an opportunity to be reunited with the Lord, in order that we may be part of the Great Commission. (Romans 10:15, Matthew 28:19-20).
When the Day comes, there will be a great multitude that no one can count, people from every nation, tribe, people and language standing before the Lord (Revelations 7:9).
This is the vision, that JOY may be instruments of God’s blessing to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth!
In order to be instruments of God’s blessing, we must know why missions is important and be equipped for this work that the Lord has called us to do.
This work involves four aspects. The first is that of going to the ends of the earth, for the workers are few (Matthew 9:37). Traditionally, this has been done through the sending of missionaries. In recent times, especially with creative access nations, the missions work has called for the sending of tentmakers. Creative access nations are countries that do not allow Christians to share the gospel freely, whether as missionaries or with missionary visas.
Before a person decides to serve as a goer, or in cases where the presence of a long-term missionary or tentmaker is not feasible or necessary, the church may consider sending what I call ‘developers’. These are church members who travel cross-culturally short-term for the purpose of carrying out development work. This can take the form of community development or church development work.
To raise up goers, developers and senders, it would be necessary to have a team of mobilizers who, being committed to the vision of missions in JOY, seek to find ways to spur the church on toward serving as goers, developers and senders. One of the key initiatives of JOY missions is short-term mission trips called compassion mission trips (CMTs). We believe that CMTs are a useful means of building a heart of faith and love for missions.
The strategy then is that JOY may develop a team of mobilizers who are committed to raise up goers and developers as well as senders for the work of missions, the focus of which is described below.
The focus is not just on any country, but countries which have a substantial population of unreached peoples. Unreached peoples, sometimes called least reached peoples, refer to those distinct communities which comprises of less than 1% Christians and do not have a viable indigenous church of their own.
Inherent in this focus on the unreached people groups is the belief that there is a need for relief and community development work so that the poor and needy may have a viable chance of hearing and receiving the gospel. The underlying premise is that a hungry and sick person cannot reasonably be expected to take care of his spiritual needs when the most basic needs are not met. For this reason, JOY is committed to a certain measure of relief and community development work in order that communities of people may one day have a chance to hear and receive the gospel.
In order to mobilize this work of serving the unreached peoples and the poor, we are praying for revival to come to the people in the New York Metropolitan Area, where JOY as a church is based. We believe that God is slowly but surely working in the lives of believers in this area to hasten a revival of his people, that many may be moved to serve the unreached and less fortunate in this area and eventually go make disciples of all nations!