Mission and Purpose
Global missions have been a part of Racine Bible Church since its very beginning over 80 years ago. In obedience to the Great Commission and as servants of Christ, we have sought and will continue to seek to proclaim the Gospel within the U.S.A. and in countries around the world.
Our mission and purpose as stated in Matthew 28:18-20 have not changed but the “face of missions” and how we carry out our responsibilities are changing. The numbers of unreached peoples and people groups in the world combined with the cost for churches in America to fund world missions is a demanding and seemingly daunting task. Obviously Christ says in Matthew 16:18, “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”. But for churches to more fully participate in global missions it requires a greater focus on planting, developing and working with local indigenous churches to reach out to others of different ethnic backgrounds and nationalities in their own context.
To “pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Matt 9:38) and do all we can as a church to raise up individuals / families to respond to this prayer.
The proper motivation for world missions is a passionate love for God’s glory united with a Christ-like compassion for all peoples. We yearn to see God truly honored as God throughout the world (Ps 96:3-4, Matt 6:9). Therefore, we pray with the psalmist,
God bless us, that all the ends of the earth may fear Him.— Ps 67:7
We desire, like the Apostle Paul, “to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake” (Rom 1:5) and to see all come to Christ as their Savior and Lord (Rom 1:16) Moreover, as Jesus Christ was a compassionate and merciful servant to the lost so that God might be glorified for His mercy (Matt 9:35-36, see also Rom 15 & Jonah 4), we pursue missions with hearts of compassion and a readiness to sacrifice all for those without Christ (1 Thess 2:1-12; 2 Tim 2:8-10).
The Racine Bible Church missions’ ministry consists of specific values that are vital to pursuing missions with this kind of compassion and readiness.
- Foundational – Christ centered, Gospel based and faithful to the Scriptures
- Prayer – Will be the foundation for all our missions effort Matt 9:37, 38; Acts 13:2
- Church planting – Our focus will be on ministries that plant and assist in strengthening and multiplying churches particularly where there may be little or no Gospel witness. Matt 16:18
- National workers – Partnering with key national pastors/evangelists/ministry leaders via current missionaries or mission organizations to assist in church planting and training of church leaders. 3 John 5-8
- Discipleship – Developing quality disciples in the local national church 2 Tim 2:2; Matt 28:19-20
- People focused – Seeking God to raise up and / or equip laborers. Acts 9:15; Rom 10:14-15
- Holistic ministry – Meeting physical needs of the lost as we address their spiritual needs with the Gospel Matt 25:34-46
- Primacy of the local church – Working with mission organizations that partner with the sending / supporting church, see the local church as the first line of accountability along with overseeing the missionary’s ministry.
The pattern of New Testament missions’ ministry is the proclamation of the gospel with the view to establishing and strengthening self-propagating local churches. The local church, being trained and equipped, “lets their light shine before men” Matt 5:16 and goes forth in the power of the Holy Spirit as “witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth” Acts 1:8. Knowing this work takes time and effort, we believe and are committed to emphasizing specific long term priorities in our missions outreach.
- Greater international focus vs. domestic (U.S) – The largest number of unreached peoples and those areas where the gospel is not even known are outside the U.S. Within the international arena, strategic opportunities, particularly within the 10/40 window (between 10° & 40° north latitude), will be emphasized. This is not saying our investment in evangelism within the U.S. is unimportant but rather emphasis will be given to where there are the most unreached.
- Emphasize the local national church – All activities that accomplish the planting, developing, strengthening and self-propagating of local churches are how we see effectively reaching more people with the gospel on a world wide basis. In addition, developing stronger relationships with the local indigenous churches can lead to an interdependent relationship that is good for the local church and RBC.
- Priorities in mission outreach – It is our vision and desire to be stronger in sharing the gospel through the establishment, growing, strengthening and supporting local congregations and their key leaders. Therefore, we are committed to emphasizing the following specific long term priorities in our missions outreach:- church planting, evangelism, church strengthening, Bible translation
– supporting the local indigenous church through teaching, training, medical, aviation and other direct service areas to grow the church and allow it to reproduce itself.There are many excellent opportunities of service in the areas of missions. Most are worthwhile and meet a need (humanitarian, discipleship, organizational support, etc.). Yet our primary focus will be in these priority areas.
- Making missionaries an extension of the church – A missionary is ultimately accountable to the sending and supporting churches and serves under the authority of the church (Acts 13:3, 14:26-27). Mission agencies have a legitimate and useful role. However, mission agencies should not be seen as a substitute for the church but rather a partner. RBC’s responsibilities to our missionaries include prayer, communication and financial support. However, when we as a church commit to sending and supporting a missionary as an extension of our church, we see our responsibilities also including accountability, shepherding, visiting, and making them well known within the RBC body.
- Fewer missionaries but more depth of support – A church can have a greater impact and participation in specific ministries if there are fewer units supported. Of the current 30 missionary family units we support, the support level ranges from $100 to $1,100 per month. This means for many, RBC is a small percentage of their total support and their ability to stay connected with us and all their other supporters is time consuming and most likely ineffective. To fulfill our responsibilities to each missionary while being an important part of their ministry in an excellent way, it can mainly be done with a fewer number of missionary units.
Our prayer is that the blessings and spiritual gifts that God has given to us at RBC will be utilized to evangelize, develop and encourage the body of Christ around the globe through our missions’ ministry.