Two thousand years ago, Jesus commanded believers to “go and make disciples of all nations…” Los Altos Grace Church, a Charis Fellowship congregation in Long Beach, Calif. (Phil Helfer, pastor), wanted to be sure their local church understood that these words still have meaning for believers today.
Mike Jentes, a staff member at Los Altos Grace Church, works part-time with Encompass World Partners as coordinator of mobilization initiatives. His experience with Encompass has caused him to care deeply about sharing the importance of global missions with others. With this passion, he led “Discovering Global Missions,” a four-week class on Sunday mornings based on Dr. Dave Guiles’ book by the same title.
“We have a long history of missions efforts in our church,” says Jentes. “We also went on a mission trip to Mexico in September and felt that there was an upswell of interest in learning about missions.”
Encompass provided the book for the study to Los Altos Grace (it can actually be obtained for free here), and the church found it to be a great resource.
“The book is simple, clear, and biblical. It only has four chapters which can be covered in about an hour, so it works perfectly in our Sunday class slot. We have used it for one-on-ones, training for short-term trips, and it could be used as a self-study. Each chapter has a compelling video that adds content and effectiveness to the learning. Also, the last chapter is built for the church to highlight the ways in which they are engaged with global missions,” Jentes shares.
For the class, the church had a diverse group of attendees, from young adults to boomers and retirement age, including some of the church’s elders and even a missionary.
In Jentes’ own experience with Encompass, he developed a particular concern for the “least-reached” people of the world – those who have no access to the Gospel.
“There are nearly three billion people on our planet who may never have access to a church, a Bible, or even a believer! They have never heard and never will unless someone goes to share about Jesus on purpose. These aren’t comfy places to live, and there will be persecution and a difficult language to learn. But the Good News is worth it!” says Jentes.
“I would highly encourage every church to use the Discovering Global Missions book to help their church family get a biblical and practical perspective on global missions and why it’s different than outreach in your local community,” Jentes says.
[Connect:] Click here to send a note of encouragement to Los Altos Grace Church as they seek to be involved in global missions.