At Rosedale International, we’ve begun to consider how to encourage unconventional or local outreach. What steps can a person take if they are called to local missions? What about believers who want to take their career overseas, or are looking for a new beginning after retirement? We do not have fully formed answers to these questions, but we’re here to start a conversation about what could be next. We invite you to join us as we consider our mission to mature and multiply.
As our world grows more connected, we continue to find new models for ministry. With millions of people now working remotely, living near your place of employment is no longer a strict necessity. In this globalized world, it’s not inconceivable that a long-term worker could be employed by a company in the United States while serving in North Africa. A former global nomad, Caleb, explains that “working remotely allows people to credential themselves in professional ways and do ministry wherever they feel called. It does away with the support-raising aspect of missions, and opens options for people to move to places in legitimate ways.”
Your profession can be a vehicle for missions.
Increased ability to travel continues to open opportunity for short-term missions as well. Recently, long-term workers have shared a need for mature believers to support teams through their professions. Have you been trained as a carpenter, a teacher, or a healthcare worker? Your profession can be a vehicle for missions. In a different vein, several RI workers have expressed a desire for retired believers to join their teams. As grandparents-of-a-sort, an older couple would meet the familial and emotional needs of a worker family in a way that only “grandparents” can.
Some of us, however, are not called to overseas missions. How can we advance the kingdom while remaining local? Hosting international students is one way forward. Jessica, who has been involved in this type of outreach for years, welcomes international students into her home, invites them to church, and plans weekend trips for student groups. She wants to see others join her—and she knows this looks different for everyone. Maybe you have an empty bedroom; maybe you simply have a free afternoon for coffee. Either way, it’s a chance to build relationships. “God has transported people from restricted access countries and essentially planted them in our backyards! Those who come to Christ will carry the good news to their family and friends when they return to their home countries.”
If you are interested in engaging international students, Jessica suggests contacting your nearest university, or connecting with local ministries to international students. She’s also happy to answer your questions personally! You can receive her contact information from email@example.com.
Perhaps you are not drawn to international students, but want to reach out to your neighbors down the street or in a larger city. We’re working to develop this type of local ministry in Shepard, the community where the Rosedale International Center (RIC) is located. This year, a group of staff and interns began meeting to learn about simple church methods and discipleship through relationships. Through prayer walks, community events, and involvement in the local school, this group has built relationships with RI’s neighbors. The hope is to eventually see house churches emerge. We invite you to explore what this outreach model could look like in your own community.
I love the focus of this article. I think perhaps the challenge of being missionaries right where you are planted is more difficult than going to the far corners in some jungle area. I like how one friend defined a missionary. Anyone who responses in obedience to whatever God asks you to do. Sort of covers everyone. Blessings of wisdom and obedience to all, especially those willing to be light and salt wherever.
Susie Schlabach, Costa Rica