Special Articles In Progress Clinic Battle Cry Free Materials  
Sightings Previous Campaign Español Wake Up America Schedule
Editorialist Past Events News Spanish Booking Info About Us
Facebook Does door knocking work? The multiplying power of a united effort Do We Care Campaigns change people’s lives? Contact Us


What’s the difference?

By Larry West


Our churches send members out on what we name, “mission trips.”  Concerned Christians go on “Medical Missions” to Mexico, to Central America, to Africa, to other parts of the world.  We go on “Youth Missions” to Europe, to Canada, to random parts of the United States.  Bible and mission departments from Christian Universities and students from schools of preaching and Biblical studies conduct campaigns.  Some churches produce local radio and television programs, now with quite an impressive history.


We are exposed to a number of them in this work our campaign work called We Care Ministries.  And we have for years studied them.  That is because it has been now for more than 30 years our intense desire to win souls, so we have searched and researched to learn more effective ways to reach the lost.


Along the way we have seen efforts accomplishing wonderful immediate benevolence to local needs, but we are also finding something alarming.  We are discovering that too few souls are being concurrently added to the kingdom.   In our own experience, we have asked sincere and sacrificial Christians upon their return, “How many were you able to rescue in Christ?  Were there baptisms?”  And too often we have heard things like, “I’m sure there were some,” indicating uncertainty.  We have received phone calls from concerned Christians revealing, “A group went and no one was baptized into Christ.”  We have read in publications, that multiple campaigns occurred simultaneously, where over five and seven thousand doors were knocked, and one was baptized and another was restored.  Now, one is worth more than the whole world, for sure, but when only one is reached out of 7000 we think this is cause for alarm!


We find sincere Christians sacrificing much to go to global points and are fixing teeth, checking eyes, leading singing, conducting VBS activities, fixing roofs, constructing buildings, feeding the hungry, giving out first lessons of Bible correspondence courses and passing out tracts, giving away pamphlets dealing with the church. 


While these deeds are noble, while they have their place and are certainly biblical (Matthew 25: 31-46), we wonder why is it that we too often return home with starving word of people immediately rescued from Satan’s grasp? 


I said immediately!


Somehow, God help us, don’t we need to wake up, slap our foreheads, alarmed, asking ourselves, “What in the name of Heaven’s mission are we really out there for?”  What happened to confronting them with the Gospel?  And baptizing them?  And making disciples?  Those were among the last words of Jesus, telling us both where to go and what to do (Mark 16:15-16)!  We must admit it’s not happening, or there would be baptisms to report!  Methinks too many of us are actually dancing around it!  Unintentionally, yes.  Trying our best, certainly.  But direct victories of battle too often too few.


Successful “mission work” has precise ingredients firmly established. 


We need (1) a dream.  That is, we need to want to see souls in Heaven because of a specific trip.  Frankly, even because we live at all.


Then, we need to have (2) a goal set as to what exactly we want to accomplish on that particular “mission trip.”  Agreed, some trips may be designed only to help physical needs, but over the years, when those are the only trips we make, don’t we need to refocus?  Don’t we rather need to set numbers?  Don’t we need to say things like, “I want to go and get two, or four or ten into the blood of Jesus before I return!”  Only then, won’t we be more on the “prowl” on that trip, deliberately looking for the next victim of Satan to rescue? 


Next, our workers need (3) some training with which to do it.  How often do we send our people into the field ill equipped?  We often don’t have a clue as to what to say or how to say it!  That is, we know neither how to initiate conversation to get them into salvation dialog, nor do we know how to present them the life-giving Gospel of Christ.  Maybe it is that we do not know what the Gospel of Christ is we are to present, that He died to do away with our sin problem (Ephesians 1:7), that He rose to do away with our grave problem (I Corinthians 15:20-23), and how that we obey, or reenact, that Gospel in baptism (Romans 6:3-6) to be saved by the grace of God, no longer to serve sin!  We are finding in this our own work that too many Christians don’t know what that simple message is that we are out there supposedly to be presenting. 


So, we need to know (4) the simple and clear message of Jesus, and how to cut the fat and get-to-the-muscle Gospel! 


Next, in our training, we need to know (5) how to, so to speak, “close the sale.”  That is, we need to know how to invite people to Christ (Acts 22:16).   And to do it with urgency! 


And finally, we need to know a little about (6) how to keep the saved all the way into Heaven (Matthew 28:19-20).


Isn’t that real missions?


In this work called We Care Ministries, we have spent the majority of our 30 years in only the United States.  During the last six years alone, the Lord has blessed us with more than 3,000 who have obeyed the Gospel.  That has happened because these ingredients have been driving us.  Recently, we went outside the USA to Guatemala.  It was somewhat a different mission trip for us.  It involved our being both in a different culture and a different language.  Yet, in seven days, we saw the Lord wash 93 people in the blood of the Lamb.


Along the way, we took food.  Twelve thousand dollars of it, food staples, rice, beans, flour, and canned food.  Three busses broke down, prohibiting our feeding more. We purchased land for one church in the area, a Pentecostal group previously converted by the local preacher.  We visited an alcoholics relief center run by one of the local members, some of us dedicating to help monthly now upon our return.  Seeing the need, we are now supplying further help to local Christians add on to their building; we must do that with so many new souls added.  We helped financially with support of day care center and school.  We gave away clothes.  We taught our own approach to evangelism and “AfterCare” to students in two existing area schools of evangelism.


Felt needs we met.  But souls were saved.  We can count them just as God did in Acts 2.  Twenty nine in one night.  Ninety three in seven days.


So, what’s the difference between trips where no rescues are reported and those expeditions where there are many?  We are persuaded it is merely a matter of focus.


It is Christians determining what is paramount for the trip! And once that is clear, then it becomes a matter of “urgency!”   Yes, it’s a matter of Christians’ determination (having both clear dreams and definite goals) to both get the training and of putting that training to burning work!


It’s Christians understanding their overriding mission is to snatch people from the fire, to do it urgently, by preaching/teaching the Gospel of Jesus, even while helping with the felt needs of local residents.


That is what makes the difference!