In Christianity, there is one universal goal among parishioners that often defines the church’s overall mission - to make an impact on the world and leave a legacy for humanity. Today, with different types of missionary work, there are many ways to spread the word of God while helping out our fellow man, especially in these modern times.
CEO of DiaDan Holdings, Eileen Richardson, also an ordained minister and someone who has led mission trips all over the globe, says the life of the missionary has changed dramatically over the years as new communication technologies have revolutionized our world.
Richardson explains, “Think about how quickly news travels around the world in mere seconds. The most remote places of the world are now connected - and the same holds true for missionary work. Now we are able to school kids through the Internet, giving them instant access to all of the libraries of the world.”
The DiaDan Holdings CEO says technology has also improved missionary work abroad with the implementation of solar energy and water purification in underdeveloped countries as well as being able to use satellite phones in remote mountains and in the depths of the jungle.
The digital era is even changing the way church leaders conduct their weekly sermons. Author Carey Nieuwhof says he’s seen a shift in Sunday attendance as parishioners are actively engaging and watching church services online.
“For years, the church has been questioning whether their digital space ‘counts’—whether it’s real. In 2016, we launched our live-stream at Connexus Church where I serve. In 2017, our physical attendance grew but our weekly online ‘attendance’ for the first time became bigger than our physical attendance,” explains Nieuwhof.
Today's generation is very different from the previous generations. Christians have been brought up in a time of rapid political, social and cultural change. They have travelled widely and come across many cultures. They tend to be more open to the world, put strong emphasis on personal relationships, and are enthusiastic and willing to work for change.
“To better reflect God’s Kingdom here on earth, Christians should be at the forefront of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of society, from the church to the classroom,” says Greg Dowell, Liberty University’s Vice President for Equity and Inclusion.
Dowell believes the Lord has given Christians the spirit to embrace diversity and to become united as a celebration of life under His vision.
“Celebrating our commonality as believers while simultaneously celebrating our diversity as people is an easier effort than maybe some would believe,” he says.
Church leaders agree there is a continuous need for outreach and spreading evangelism to those who may be lost in this world.
Recently, a strategic shift has begun to take place from the programs of traditional outreach to more organic forms of cultural engagement. At the heart of this activity is a desire to abide by Jesus' command to go into the world.
Pastor Eugene Cho says, "Our congregations are our greatest assets. Disciples, ambassadors, missionaries … God is doing amazing things in and through them already.”