Local vs. Global Missions: Which is More Important
We’re firm believers that both local and global missions are equally important. In fact, it’s not a question of which is more important – it’s a question of which are you called to support. God often aligns our calling with both our passion and our pain. What fuels you? What injustice makes your heart race and your stomach drop? And most importantly, what solution gives you hope for change? Maybe you have a heart for a certain part of the world or demographic of people. We believe that God gave you that for a reason, and it’s important to listen to it:
What are Local Missions?
Local missions can look like any charitable organization with the goal of bettering the community it’s located in. Local missions focus on issues that are prevalent in that specific place – of course those issues are probably happening elsewhere too, but you’re able to make a difference in your own backyard. For example, in Greenville, SC, and organization called Switch is focusing on ending human trafficking in the upstate of South Carolina. Of course, this issue is happening worldwide, but its supporters are able to work to end trafficking right here.
Why are Local Missions Important?
Missions close to home carry a unique importance because of the opportunity to invest in the betterment on your own community. There is something special about giving back to the community that you call home – where you may be raising a new generation or simply a place that is dear to your heart. We all want to see the areas we care about thrive and to make a difference for the people living there that we also care about.
What are Global Missions?
Global missions focus on countries other than your own. As American’s, we are fortunate to not see some of the same problems close to home that other countries around the world experience, like the lack of clean, running water. Additionally, global missions center on places around the world that present differences from that of your own home. Global missions give us a way to feel connected to those that do live and look differently than us yet are similar to us in many ways as well.
Why are Global Missions Important?
Global missions are an important way to both expand your own world and mindset by changing your perspective. Global missions can remind us how just how big and complex the world is with so many different cultures, languages, religions, governments, etc. They can give us a different perspective and often a sense of thankfulness for what we have. Global missions present the unique opportunity and challenge of sharing the Gospel – if you are looking to support a Christian charity – to people that may never have even heard the name Jesus before. Ministry overseas gets down to the bones of sharing love, compassion, and the Good News, maybe not even in a building, but simply gathered together under a tree or at someone’s house.
God tells us, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” -Matthew 28:19-20
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8
No nation is more important than the other as we are all the body of Christ and called to be disciples of all nations for Him.
At Set Free, each of our staff, church and business partners have felt called by God to fight the injustice that is child slavery and/or the water crisis in India, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. When thinking about are passions and where you feel called, you’ll probably find your direction for charitable support, or maybe your heart lies locally and internationally, and you decide to spread your support. However, if you’re still feeling torn and need to pick just one direction consider these tips to think through:
Tips to Decide Which to Focus On:
- Pinpoint those causes that you are most passionate about. Does your heart lie with fighting slavery? What kind of specific slavery? What about the lack of clean water around the world? Or medical aid? Commit to your cause.
- If these causes don’t already align specifically to a certain part of the world, do some research to learn about where these problems are most prevalent and what organizations are working there.
- If you don’t already know much about the part of the world where you’ve decided to focus your support, start doing some research – find some helpful resources either through a Google search or through the charity you’re supporting to learn more about why the issue you’re supporting is prominent in that area and what the cultural and political implications.
We hope your takeaway from reading this post is that whether you decided to support local or international missions, there is no right or wrong, just listening to your calling and acting on it.