One message that popped throughout the Consultation is the message of Retailing Missions for nation building. The general concept of wholesale and retail entails a distribution channel whereby goods/products flow through a decentralized structure/cycle from the producer till it gets to the final consumers. In like manner, the concept of Retailing Missions entails the passage/distribution flow/sharing of the gospel of Christ through missionary activities as given to us and authorized by Christ till it gets to the grassroots/lowest levels of the society. In this regard, with CHRIST at the top level of the ‘distribution line’, the Church as well as Christian religious agencies are the ‘wholesalers’ and the family as well as individuals, the ‘retailers’.
How do we do this? I have always said that compassion is a great tool for changing and developing people and communities. The Bible further admonishes us to be doers and not just hearers. In further context, we have to be doers and not just talkers. We need to develop a culture of preaching the gospel of Christ through our actions and not just by mere words just as JESUS CHRIST Himself emulated on earth. Let’s take a practical example; at STOG, rural mission has been an integral part of our missionary activities. We have used the Living Water Project as a means to reach into the heart of communities. One of such communities is Elefon Community located between the river banks of Osun and Oyo state. Prior to our arrival, not only was there little/no access to clean water but access to dirty water was as well, relatively difficult. We were able to commission a solar-powered borehole for the community to ensure ease of access to clean water which further opened the hearts of the people to receive the good news of CHRIST. Mind you, this community was a closely knitted islamic community. It’s important to note that you can not effectively connect with people without relating to their pain and this approach has helped us extend the gospel and spread the light to many rural communities in the South-western part of Nigeria.
However, before we go into communities or our neighborhood as retailers, we need to have a right standing with GOD. Simply put, GOD has to be at the hem of our affairs directing and guiding us. A read through the book of Lamentations four (4) with much reflection on verse thirteen (13) makes us know that the sins of a prophet(s) and iniquities of priest(s) can destroy and cause havoc in a community, village or society as a whole. In practical example, imagine a retail store in your neighborhood sells fake/bad products and people unknowingly purchase and consume such products, what happens next? Of course, people will react, complain, the health of some may even be affected. Hence, a product that is originally intended to help the consumers will end up doing the opposite and the end result is that people will loose trust in such retailer/retail store and some may even loose trust in the brand/product itself. That’s literally what happens if we go into the mission field without a right standing with GOD, or are not led by GOD, or do not go with the right approach. People will reject the message and chase such ‘retailer’ away. There’s no honor or favor in such mission. It’s just exercise in futility.
Why is it important for believers to partake in retail missions? To start with, we need to break the notion and do away with the misconceptions surrounding missionary work/activities. There’s the sense of insecurity people commonly affiliate with Christian missionary activities but we need to understand that since the LORD JESUS CHRIST has called us and sent us out on a mission to preach the gospel to all men, he hasn’t/wouldn’t leave us or send us out without guidance and protection. Once GOD has called us to do something for him, He will also provide all that’s needed to enable us do so. He has promised to be with us always, to the very end of time, thus we need not to fear. Missionary activities is not limited to the church and christain religious organizations but also involves every household and individual as ‘retailers’ in the body of CHRIST. By merely recognizing a need in our neighborhood or community and rising up to it/addressing it through the love of CHRIST is engaging in missionary activity. Consequently, through our little individual contributions we are aiding national development.
Are you ready to partake of the retail exercise? During the Consultation, we examined several problems afflicting African Societies highlighted three major ares of involvement/intervention.
- Communities Impact
- Orphans and Victims of Terriorism
- Street and Vulnerable Children
Which of the aforementioned areas are you interested in? Do let us know by filling the form via the link provided below and we would get in touch with you shortly.