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Global Missions are as Awkward as an 8th Grade Dance

Global Missions are as Awkward as an 8th Grade Dance

by Michael Chitwood on September 14, 2019
Picture this—we’re back in time when you were thirteen years old at your eighth-grade dance. For me the year is 1988, the place is Forest Hills Northern Middle School in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Phil Collins’ Groovy Kind of Love is playing on the speakers. The gym is decorated with twinkly lights, cardboard stars, and hundreds of yards of streamers. A few people are on the dance floor under the disco ball, while a large majority of us stand along the wall and sit in the bleachers.

The people on the dance floor are confidently moving, feeling in their element. Those along the wall are watching, too afraid of looking ridiculous. Despite the amazingness of Phil Collins, I’m nervous and standing along the wall with everyone else. There I am, wishing I knew how to dance, wishing I could join.
 
To me, this is what global missions can be like.

Global missions are as awkward as middle school dances. A handful of people in your churches are dancing—going on short-term missions once a year or on a mission team that is wildly passionate about outreach. Meanwhile, the walls are lined with people who want to participate and make caring for the poor a priority—they just don’t know how to take the first step.
 
So, how do we get more people dancing?

At World Vision, we’ve been journeying with pastors and leaders to build a bridge between outreach and those who want to participate. Over the past year we have partnered with over 100 churches to activate congregations by providing the support and resources needed to take those first steps, finding dance moves in an interactive discipleship challenge.

We think passion about outreach really begins with embracing Jesus’ call in Matthew 25 to care for “the least of these brothers and sisters of mine”.
 
“‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’…
 
‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
-Matthew 25:35-36, 40

The Matthew 25 Challenge is a discipleship experience to lead your church to feel more comfortable in the rhythm of the gospel. Every day for a week, your congregation will make one small sacrifice that aligns with Jesus’ words in Matthew 25 and invites them to deeper empathy for the challenges our brothers and sisters around the world face on a daily basis.

A church in Sioux, City Iowa saw their youth highly engaged in Matthew 25, taking the challenge and inviting their friends from school to participate alongside them. Using social media, teens found it easy to support each other while also keeping updated on the challenge throughout the week.

In a church in Richmond, Texas, a pastor saw her own child listen to the Holy Spirit as he urged his family to sleep on the hardwood floor rather than the carpet because he noticed that the children in the videos did not have that luxury. Read more stories about how this challenge transformed several churches across the country.

The Matthew 25 Challenge creates an engaging space for all ages to practice what it means to live out Matthew 25, while at the same time strengthening families as they come together to explore their hearts. This is a chance for your church to take part in engaging the world, changing the lives of the global poor, and confidently getting out on the dance floor.

Activate Your Church in the Matthew 25 Challenge

We are inviting all churches to step into this experience throughout 2019 and 2020. Learn more about how to bring the Matthew 25 Challenge to your church here

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