Missions and the task of missions are dangerous and difficult. Many missionaries suffer from diseases, persecution, and hard living conditions. Many missionaries worked among unreached people groups for more than ten years to get their first conversion while others laboured under God to bring an end to ungodly customs such as human sacrifice, slavery, child marriage, burning of widows, oppression of widows, killing of twins, premarital conceptual relationship, etc. What are the effects of mission work on the church and society? What else must we do to improve on the end vision of the Church: ‘that all may know him. ‘May God help us through the lesson of today to see and know how to be better partners with Him in completing the unfinished task of the Great Commission. Amen.

Objectives of mission work

  • To awaken Baptist Family members to their responsibility of preaching the gospel in Nigeria and beyond
  • To direct the energy of the Convention to propagate the Gospel at home and abroad
  • To recruit suitable full-time, volunteer, and part-time workers for mission Work in collaboration with the Convention family.
  • Making the Global Missions Board a clearing house for the mission enterprise at home and abroad
  • To formulate, develop, plan, and conduct conferences, clinics, and other types of meetings and seminars for the Convention family consequently training them in Evangelism, Discipleship, Methodology, and holistic missions at home and abroad.
  • To provide through a resource centre, a variety of print and other materials to create awareness and adequate information on the missions effort of the entire Convention family at home and abroad.
  • To review from time to time the mission activities of the entire Convention to recommend contemporary ways of mission with other Great Commission Christians for adequate propagation of the Gospel.
  • To coordinate the various mission activities of the local churches under the church Convention, thereby creating a formidable synergy between churches and the Board towards effective results.
  • To design relevant commitment forms for all mission stakeholders (partners, supporters, workers, etc.)

Effects of mission work

The effects of mission work on the church and society are uncountable but let us just mention a few of them as follows:

Agape Love and Internal Fellowship: Agape love does not argue over who “the brethren” of 1 John 3:16 are or who “the least of these” is in Matthew 25:45, or who one’s “neighbour” is in Luke 10:29.The early Christians showed true love to all and had unalloyed internal fellowship. Every Christian was treated with true love and equality. There were neither Jews nor Greeks, slaves nor free, male nor female. They were all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28 paraphrase). This made a lot of people become believers, consequently, making them better persons who positively affected their generation.

Awareness and Revival: Over time, God used mission work to open the eyes of the people and make them turn to Him from their ungodly ways. The abolition of the slave trade in 1807 was not unconnected with the movement started by John Wesley in the 1700s. God is still at work today through the mission work of the church. God is continually opening the eyes of the church and reviving her through the loving interaction of our missionaries and the church with those who are yet to know Him. This continual awareness and revival is guiding the church on how to pray, support, send, and take the necessary steps (under God) to help in making society what God intends it to be.

The Threat of Islam: In the early 1900s, many mission agencies tried to stop the southward expansion of Islam in Africa. The Africa Inland Mission was started in 1895 in Kenya, while the Sudan United Mission and Sudan Interior Mission started soon after in Nigeria. They planted some churches from Nigeria to Kenya which stopped the expansion of Islam into Central and Southern Africa. {This is why Islam is not very strong in Central and South Africa sub-region today}. The West African Church must learn from this success on the part of the Church in Central and Southern Africa. We must come together to strategise on how to do likewise in the West African sub-region.

Literacy and Rehabilitation: Following the abolition of the slave trade which was championed by the church, the church took a leading role in rehabilitating the slaves; consequently making them better persons One such was our own Bishop Ajayi Crowther of blessed memory, He later translated the Bible into Yoruba Language The church also took a leading role in literacy and establishment of schools to enlighten the people and to reduce the illiteracy rate in the country Many of such institutions were used and are still being used by Cod to impact lives, transform lives and to raise godly leaders who are being used of God to transform the society.

Health, Hygiene, and Sanitation: Missionaries are being used of Cod to teach people how to carry out some first aid treatments while vaccinations, simple instructions on cleanliness, sanitary methods, and other prophylactic (preventive) measures have saved many from premature death, In addition, the church through clinics and hospitals which she established, is continually being used of God to heal the sick while she is raising new medical and paramedical staff through her medical institutions. All these have in no small dimension contributed to making many unbelievers respond positively to the Gospel.

Philanthropy and Improvement of the Social Standard of the Society: Jesus Christ was good to all who came for help. The church is following in His footsteps by relieving human suffering. This was done by the early church and is being done by the church of today as well.

In addition, the mission effort of the church has helped in raising the standard of living of the people. People have been taught how to build better homes and improve their agricultural methods. Empowerment of the people for better economic status through training and soft loans has also been used to improve the standard of living of individuals and families while educating the people on the need to eat good food (balanced diet and good water) has helped in having healthy societies.

Furthermore, the Gospel has dramatically helped in elevating the status of women in society, polygamy, child marriage, divorce and all those practices that are not scriptural are gradually disappearing. ‘Suftee’, the practice of burning the wives of deceased Hindu husbands along with their bodies, has been outlawed in India and the caste system is now under threat as a result of Christian influence in that country. We must also remember that with the influence of the church, many countries are now eliminating prostitution while trafficking is now a punishable offence in almost all the countries of the world.

Conclusion

We can keep on examining how God has used and is still using the church to change our society for the better. We must, however, prayerfully make ourselves available to be used by God to be part of His team in the present age to reveal Christ to the whole world, especially our Muslim brothers and sisters. They do not know Jesus Christ, and until they do, our task is not complete. Remember, if they know Jesus Christ, no church will be burnt, violence, arson, and murder will stop, bombing will stop i.e. there would not be ‘Boko Haram’ or the like, and peace will reign in Nigeria. This will extend to the whole world.