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Sharing the Treasure: Doing Good to All People

Sharing the Treasure: Doing Good to All People

“I am not here to take care of Sam and Deborah; I am here to bring the good news to Haruto and Yui!”

I was somewhat shocked by this team leader’s response to my teaching that evening, which included a biblical principle that we have repeated hundreds of times over the years: “Ministry to my coworkers is no less important than ministry to the people that we are called to reach.”

My responding question to this team leader was, “Where in the Bible do we find that we are to neglect those who are brothers and sisters in Christ in order to bring the good news to the least-reached?” Scripture is quite clear: “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10 ESV) We are called to bring the light of the gospel to those who have no access to a church in their own language or culture. But such a calling is not to be to the neglect of our coworkers! The strongest testimony that we can have to the world is our “love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

This principle is not limited to missional endeavors. It certainly applies to what we are currently experiencing in the U.S. We are to do good to all (cultivating Christ-honoring transformation in communities where He is yet to be worshiped), but we should not do so to the neglect of our brothers and sisters in Christ here in the U.S. 

The Great Commission is not a sequential command. It does not command us to make disciples of everyone around us in our home communities and then move on to do the same elsewhere. Rather, it is something that takes place simultaneously. We are to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the world. (Acts 1:8)

Conversely, we cannot miss opportunities to live out Scripture’s command to love one another here as we make disciples of all nations. Ministry to my brothers and sisters in Christ, particularly those who have suffered simply because of the color of their skin, is no less important than cultivating Christ-honoring transformation among the least-reached.

We train men and women to go around the world and learn another language, another culture, another worldview and another way of life in order to be a blessing to their community (Matthew 5:16) and communicate the treasure of God’s love and truth within it. We must be willing to put forth the same effort to serve those who are next to us here in the U.S. To walk past a community of people here in the U.S. without responding to their needs just because they have access to the treasure of the gospel would be to ignore the command of God. (Galatians 6:10).

May the Lord have mercy on us as a nation and transform this time of sorrow into that which is eternally good. And, may He use us as catalysts of this transformation, not only among the least-reached, but among our brothers and sisters the U.S. who have experienced pain and injustice.

Click here for a special message from Christar U.S. Board Chair Dr. Jeff Adams on cultivating Christ-honoring transformation in the face of racial injustice.

Dr. Steve Coffey, Director of Christar U.S., began work with Christar in 1989. He and his wife, Beth, initially served among North African immigrants in France. In 2001, they returned to the U.S. for Steve to lead the Christar Church Planting Division. In 2005 he became Director of Christar. Before serving with Christar, the Coffeys worked for a year in a humanitarian project in the Red Sea hills of Sudan among the Beja people. Dr. Coffey’s education includes an undergraduate degree in history education from Liberty University, a Master of Divinity from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Strategic Leadership from Regent University. The Coffeys have three children and four grandchildren.

 

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