What is a Global Christian?

Growing up in church, I thought missions was only for missionaries or for a few select missions enthusiasts in the church. I thought, “There is no place for me in missions.”

As a growing Christian in college, I discovered that every Christian has a part to play in reaching the nations. The Bible teaches that missions is for everyone. Every Christian should live as a Global Christian because our God is a global God! Everyone in the church will not be a missionary but everyone should be a Global Christian. A Global Christian is one who understands God’s heart for the world and strategically lives their life in such a way that wherever they are and whatever they do, they are striving to see Him glorified among the nations. (from “Explore the World Christian Lifestyle” study)

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Know the Story

A Global Christian is “one who understands God’s heart.” We understand God’s heart through his Word. The Bible doesn’t just give us a few verses as a basis for missions but missions is what the Bible is all about. God is a missionary God and the Bible is a missionary story. To get involved in reaching the nations, every believer needs to know the story they are part of; the story of God’s plan to gather worshippers from all nations. You can know the story with five verses from God’s Word summarized with five words: Promise, Problem, Promise, Plan, and Picture.

Original PURPOSE (Gen. 1:28)
God makes His purpose clear in His first words to Adam and Eve in Genesis 1:28. “God blessed them” saying “Enjoy my grace” and God told them to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” saying, “Extend my glory.” Their purpose was to enjoy God’s grace and extend His glory; to fill the earth with worshippers. God’s purpose is the same for us today. God wants us all to enjoy His grace and extend His glory to all the world.

Rebellion PROBLEM (Gen. 11:4)
Their stated purpose for building the tower was the exact opposite purpose for which God created them. God said “Extend my glory” but then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.’” God did scatter them over the face of the earth (Gen. 11:8-9) but there was something missing. There were no worshippers of the one true God!

Foundational PROMISE (Gen. 12:1-3)
“The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

To gather worshippers from all nations, God chose one man, Abram (later named Abraham). God promised that He would bless Abraham’s family saying to them, “You will enjoy my grace.” They were blessed for a global purpose; that all people on earth would be blessed through them. They would enjoy His grace so that God’s glory would be extended to all peoples. God made the same foundational promise three times to Abraham and then to his son, Isaac, and then to his grandson, Jacob; three times to the father, then to the son, then to the grandson. Five times to three generations he made the same promise. God was making a point. He was telling them, “This is the family business! If you are in this family, this is what we do.”

Paul then wrote in Galatians 3:29, “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.” Every believer, all who belong to Christ, are now part of Abraham’s family. All who belong to Christ are part of the family business; to extend God’s glory to all nations.

Intentional PLAN (Luke 24:44-47)
Before Jesus went back to heaven, he appeared to His disciples and said, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” How did he fulfill the Old Testament? Jesus told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day.” Jesus was saying “Enjoy my grace in the free gift of salvation.” Jesus then told them, “and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” Jesus was saying “Extend my glory to all nations.” Through the church, Jesus fulfills God’s plan to gather worshippers from all nations. The church was born for this mission to make disciples of all nations as Jesus commanded them (Matt. 28:16-20).
Concluding PICTURE (Rev. 7:9-10)
We see the concluding picture of a multitude from all peoples in Revelation 7:9-10, “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” All of history is moving to that day when people from every tribe and language and tongue and nation will be worshiping around the throne.

Everyone is part of God’s plan to gather worshippers of all nations. God was not created for our story but we were created for His. Every Christian should know the story we are a part of.

Live the story

Once we know the story from God’s word of His plan to gather worshippers from all nations and decide, “God, I am going to live for your story,” then the second question is, “What is my part in your story?”

A Global Christian “strategically lives their life in such a way that wherever they are and whatever they do, they are striving to see Him glorified among the nations.” There are five different ways to live as a Global Christian; as goers, senders, intercessors, mobilizers, and welcomers. We need people who are goers to those nations that don’t yet have the gospel. But for everybody who goes, we are going to need those senders who send them and support them and pray for them. But we are not going to have goers and senders if we don’t have intercessors who are asking the Lord of the harvest to raise up laborers (Matt. 9:38). And we might not have intercessors if we don’t have mobilizers who are awakening the church to God’s heart for all nations and saying to others, “You have a part to play.” And as we get awakened and we see the nations we are also going to notice, “We have a lot of nations, even right here that I need to reach out to so I need to be a welcomer.” Everybody has a part to play in global missions!

Being a Global Christian is not about being a certain age or living in a certain location. It is about a lifestyle of striving to see God glorified among the nations. God has a vital role for everyone to play in global missions through their local church.

Imagine if everyone in your church knew the story from God’s word of His plan to reach the nations and was living as a Global Christian playing their part in seeing God glorified among the nations. Maybe only a few would be sent from your church to the nations but 100% would be a part of your church’s effort to bring the gospel to all the world.

Everyone in the church will not be a missionary but everyone should be a Global Christian.  


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