Globalbeliever.com: Connecting to God’s Work in Your World [Rev. ed.], by Grant McClung. Cleveland, TN: Pathway Press, 2004.
Despite the fact that more than 75 percent of Church of God (Cleveland, TN) membership exists outside North America, Grant McClung still believes in a need to send missionaries overseas “until all have heard.” This conviction is what inspired the 2004 revised edition of Globalbeliever.com: Connecting to God’s Work in Your World, a local church missions resource written by Grant McClung, who serves as field director for the Church of God in Western Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
Defining a Globalbeliever
The term globalbeliever comes from McClung’s concept of a follower of Jesus Christ who is active in his/her world through intercessory prayer, stewardship, evangelism and positive acts of Christian benevolence. Being a “globalbeliever” is another way of saying that one is a “world Christian”—a believer who is actively involved in ministry beyond the “four walls of the church,” both locally and internationally.
McClung points out that one does not have to travel to perform overseas ministry. “We connect in a variety of creative ways and in diverse locations,” he declared. “It has been said that a missionary is not someone who crosses the sea but one who sees the Cross. There are many opportunities to reach the world right where we live. The main thing is to be available to God to go anywhere, anytime, to any person or group of persons in the pattern of the early church in the An updated version of the popular missions text tells local churches how they may be involved in the important work of global missions, especially in reaching unreached peoples.
Globalbeliever.com views local church missions the Holy Spirit in recognizing, releasing and resourcing such persons. “What we need to understand at the outset of the 21st century is that a new type of missionary is needed and that the ‘we’ means the entire international church,” said McClung. “In doing so we begin to fulfill a vision that (to borrow an international evangelical missions theme) sees ‘the whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole world.’ Thankfully, that process has already begun in the Church of God globally.”
Becoming a New Type of Missionary
McClung’s “new type of missionary” is one who is able to come alongside the national church in a servant role. For almost 100 years, we have done well in sending administrators, educators and— more recently—those involved with benevolence ministries. The “new type of missionary” joins hands with an existing national church, or even goes as a pioneer where the gospel has not been preached, in order to penetrate the darkness and plant the church of Jesus Christ among thousands of remaining unreached people groups in countries still resistant to the gospel, according to McClung.
“In every Church of God home and from every Church of God pulpit worldwide, we must help our families and flocks stay focused on the truly unreached people groups—those who are lost,” said McClung. “It has been said that there is only one thing worse than Book of Acts. Having said that, I have to emphasize that the greatest need is beyond the shores of the United States.”
McClung does not believe, however, that all Christians are missionaries. He believes that every follower of Jesus Christ must be a Great Commission disciple, anointed by the Holy Spirit in order to actively and productively obey Christ’s command to make disciples and be a witness anywhere He leads.
Qualifying as a Missionary
“A missionary is someone gifted by God to fulfill his or her calling and ministry giftedness in another cultural context,” said McClung. “Not everyone can do that or should be doing that. It is the church’s responsibility to cooperate with being lost—being lost and having no one searching for you. Our mission and vision as a movement is to recover the spirit of the ‘seeking and searching God,’ the God who rejoices when lost people are found.”
Reaching the Unreached
The concept of an “unreached people group” is explained in Part 2 of Globalbeliever.com. An “unreached people group” is a group, sometimes numbering thousands or millions, in which there are either no believers or not a large enough Christian presence to carry the message of the gospel throughout the rest of the unevangelized group. McClung believes strongly in the Church of God World Missions’ efforts to evangelize unreached people groups. “Our larger and more progressive local church ministries have been connected to this international, interdenominational movement for some time. In addition, a recommendation to the International General Council urges all our local churches worldwide to ‘adopt and intercede for an unreached people group.’
This measure also calls upon major regions of the Church of God internationally to ‘adopt and implement measurable steps to evangelize and disciple unreached people groups in their regions.’ I urge its adoption in order for the Church of God to be included in the last-days harvest of the remaining unevangelized peoples of the earth.”
One can become a “globalbeliever” by following some simple steps outlined in David Shibley’s book, A Force in the Earth: The Charismatic Renewal and World Evangelism:
1. Give obediently.
2. Pray globally.
3. Read widely.
4. Think globally and eternally.
5. Go personally.
6. Love cross-culturally.
7. Work differently.
“Start where you are with what you have—your unique spiritual giftedness and abilities. Be aware of your world; it has been said that a ‘globalbeliever’ carries a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other,” said McClung. “Pray with CNN as you see international events unfolding. Increase your contact with individuals of other cultures. Learn a second language (we have more than 40 million Spanish-speaking people in the United States). Meet a new immigrant: many are now in our backyard. Take a short-term missions trip. Read a book about another people or country. Invite a missionary or an international student to your home. Opportunities to connect are endless, but connection time is limited.”
Reviewed by Whitney Hemphill. Originally published in the August 2004 issue of the Church of God Evangel. Republished with permission.
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